Top 5 Most Prestigious Darts Tournaments

Top 5 Most Prestigious Darts Tournaments

PDC Darts Tournaments

In a normal year, darts tournaments are running most weeks meaning there is pretty much always something going on and darts bets to make.

But the game has been running on a bit of a broken and beaten schedule for the past few seasons and it’s easy to lose track of which tourneys are the biggest and most prestigious in the game.

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So, for those new to the sport or for experienced bettors simply looking to refresh here is a quick run-through of the best tournaments that darts has to offer.

With an uncomplicated scoring system and a simple list of rules, darts must be one of the easiest sports to start following. After all, “It’s just fat blokes throwing arrows at a board.”

There really is no need for you to be an expert on all things tungsten to get involved with darts betting as you can pick things up pretty quickly.

Here then are the top 5 most prestigious darts tournaments.

PDC Grand Slam of Darts

PDC Grand Slam Of Darts

The darting highlight of November and the last big tourney before the almighty World Championships are held in December, the PDC Grand Slam of Darts was a darts tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation that originally encouraged entries from the British Darts Organisation (BDO). This agreement folded when the BDO collapsed into liquidation in 2020.

Since 2015, the PDC have given this event ranking status. The event is held each year in Wolverhampton, for the most part at Wolverhampton Civic Hall and later, temporarily, at Aldersley Leisure Village. Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is the event’s most successful ever player with six wins.

It was actually Stoke-born Taylor that won the first three Grand Slam titles, beating Andy Hamilton, Terry Jenkins, and Scott Waites in the first three ever finals. Michael van Gerwen won this event three times in a row from 2015 through 2017 after which Gerwyn Price won back-to-back titles, the only two so far to be held at Aldersley Leisure Village.

Grand Slam participation is made up of finalists from the PDC’s televised events over a 12 month period. Ten of these places have already been taken and there are only four tournaments – The World Cup of Darts, World Grand Prix, European Championship and World Series of Darts – remaining.

If all 16 places have not been filled from those televised events then winners from the PDC’s European Tour and Players Championship events can receive entry into the Grand Slam. There will also be eight players selected from the PDC Tour Card Holder Qualifiers, plus UK and European Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit, as well as two Women’s Series qualifiers.

Venue: Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton

Format: Best of 9 legs, 19 legs and 31 legs

Current champion: Jose De Sousa (Portugal)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (6 wins)

Prize money: £550,000

PDC World Grand Prix

PDC World Grand Prix Darts

The World Grand Prix is a PDC darts tournament that takes place each October in Dublin, Ireland. The event has been held in Ireland since 2000 when it was originally held at the Crosbie Cedars Hotel in Rosslare, County Wexford. A year later, the tournament was moved to the Citywest in Dublin.

When the World Grand Prix was launched in 1998, it was designed to replace the World Pairs tournament, which only lasted for three seasons. The most successful player in this event is, unsurprisingly, Phil Taylor, who claimed this crown a record 11 times. That said, The Power was actually knocked out in round one five times during his career.

Venue: Citywest, Dublin

Format: Best of 3 sets, 5 sets, 11 sets, 13 sets and 15 sets

Current champion: Gerwyn Price (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (11 wins)

Prize money: £450,000

PDC Premier League of Darts

PDC World Darts

The third part of the darts triple crown, the Darts Premier League traditionally gets going in February to help kick the darts season, which begins with the Darts Masters at the end of January. The action takes place weekly until May when the play offs are held at the O2 in London. 

When the tournament was launched in 2005, the event was contested by seven players in a series of fortnightly fixtures. Today, there are ten players involved each year, drawn from the top four players in the PDC Order of Merit plus six wildcard selections.

For the first round, event nights are staged in various venues across the UK and Ireland, plus now there are some European nights too. The players all take on each other over these fixtures with earned points being added to the ten-man table. On Judgment Night (around night nine), the two bottom-based players will be eliminated from the tournament while the remaining eight players attempt to qualify for the London play offs, which take place over the May bank holiday.

There have been six overall winners of the Premier League so far in its history. Phil Taylor has dominated the Premier League, winning six out of the thirteen tournaments he starred in and actually went unbeaten in his first three seasons. Taylor eventually lost to James Wade after 44 matches.

Michael van Gerwen has also won the event multiple times with five wins to his name. James Wade, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton are the other players to lift the Premier League of Darts trophy. 

Venue: Numerous host cities, London play offs

Format: Best of 12, 19 and 21 legs

Current champion: Jonny Clayton (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (6 wins)

Prize money: £825,000

PDC World Matchplay

PDC World Matchplay

Dart’s second-largest event and part of the Darts Triple Crown, the prestigious PDC World Matchplay is held in Blackpool each year in July. This is another event that is famed for the fans who really make it what it is inside the Winter Gardens, its home since its inaugural event in 1994. The tournament itself is built around a legs format and is the third of seven ranking events of the year.

The field is made up of 32 darters, 16 of which are the highest-ranked in the game. These are then joined by 16 unseeded ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers. When the event was first held, it was won by an American darter called Larry ‘The Bald Eagle’ Butler, who won against Dennis Priestley 16–12 in the first-ever final back in 1994. 

In 1997, Phil Taylor won the Matchplay for the first time and would go on to collect a trophy haul of 16 Matchplay titles over his career, some 14 more than Rod Harrington and Michael van Gerwen, who have two wins each. Following The Power’s retirement in 2017, the PDC renamed the Matchplay trophy the Phil Taylor Trophy in honour of the completion’s record-breaking champion. 

Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool 

Format: First to 10 legs, 11 legs, 16 legs, 17 legs and 18 legs 

Current champion: Peter Wright (Scotland)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (16 wins)

Prize money: £700,000

PDC World Championship

PDC World Championships

The biggest, loudest, messiest and most lucrative darts tournament on earth and one that has established itself as essential British Christmas viewing, the PDC World Championship takes place each year in mid-December and finishes sometime around the new year lasting for around three weeks. 

The action comes from North London’s Alexandra Palace, known lovingly by darts fans as the Ally Pally, which has been home to the tournament since 2008, and basically acts as an inebriated celebration of all things darts at that special time of year. The atmosphere in the crowd is strictly party time but on the oche, fierce rivalries emerge as the world’s best darters slug it out for the biggest prize in the sport.

Around 96 players enter the event in the hope for winning the Sid Waddell Trophy, which is named in honour of the legendary darts commentator Sid Waddell who passed away in 2012.

The tournament is the final leg of the Darts Triple Crown and dates back to 1994 as a result of the split in darts, which saw the eventual emergence of the PDC. The PDC was born out of the World Darts Council following their break from the now defunct BDO.

Over the years, there have been ten different winners of the World Championships including one-time winners Dennis Priestley, Raymond van Barneveld, Rob Cross, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price, who won in 2021. There are also two times winners John Part, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson, plus three times winner Michael van Gerwen.

No one has won this tournament more than the now retired Phil Taylor who, in 25 appearances, took the crown a stunning 14 times, to go with his two alternative world titles.

Venue: Alexandra Palace, London

Format: Best of 5 sets, 7 sets, 9 sets, 11 sets and 13 sets

Current champion: Gerwyn Price (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (14 wins)

Prize money: £2.5 million

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2020 Darts Premier League Play-Offs Betting Tips

2020 Darts Premier League Play-Offs Betting Tips

2020 Darts Premier League

OK, so it’s not May, we’re not looking forward to the summer and it’s not taking place in London’s O2 Arena, but at long, long last the Darts Premier League has reached the playoff stage. 

For London’s docklands, read Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and for live and noisy crowd– read: fake piped in atmospheric cheers — but hey after this most horrible of years, let’s be thankful for some top-level PDC darts at its finest.

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A look at the final matches

Fresh off the back of the World Grand Prix, which only finished on Monday, bringing yet another PDC major for the new world number two Gerwyn Price. We have another top PDC award up for grabs as Thursday sees the complete final night of Premier League Darts 2020.

Price will not be there sadly, his league form poor enough to only render a fifth-place finish, one ahead of Michael van Gerwen who also misses out. The absence of the world’s top two should offer hope for the remaining four, which includes World Champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright

As well as Peter Wright, the remaining four include table topper Glen Durrant, Gary Anderson and Nathan Aspinall. The two semi-finals will be played over the best of 19 legs each.

The first semi-final is between Glen Durrant and Gary Anderson, leaving Peter Wright to face Nathan Aspinall in number two. 

As noted, Durrant ended the group stage on the top of the table making him only the third darter to do so in the tournament’s 15-year history, while Anderson is the only former Premier League champion left in the competition.

Before we look at the semis in greater detail, the outright prices from bet365 for the 2020 Darts Premier League are as follows.

As the highest-ranked player in the tourney, world number three Peter Wright is worth 13/8, ahead of Gary Anderson at 11/4. Glen Durrant is a sizeable 7/2 given his dominance thus far and Nathan Aspinall at 10/3 is also very generous. Given that it really isn’t very hard to imagine a Durrant/Aspinall final, those prices are indeed tempting.

Glen Durrant V Gary Anderson

Earlier in the competition, Durrant beat Anderson 7-4 in week three while the pair drew the rematch 7-7 in Week 11.

Could this be the night where Anderson is victorious? Possibly. I mean the guy is a two-times world champion and is capable of showing glimpses of his previous levels even if the Scottish veteran’s game is generally slowing down these days.

He remains one of the finest darters of all time and last week made it to the last eight of the World Grand Prix, averaging 90 along the way.

In contrast, Durrant had an atrocious Grand Prix, dropping out in round one at the hands of Dave Chisnall, citing technical issues whatever that means. Duzza has been messing around with his flights and will hopefully have settled on a set come Thursday if he is get the reward his Premier League form deserves.

Duzza has been the Premier League’s best player so far this season, but Gary has the titles, PDC at least, so it is a tough one to call. I’m backing Durrant in this one, however, providing he makes his mind up about those darts on time.

Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall

On the two occasions these two met in the earlier rounds, Snakebite won both and with more than a little bit of breathing room too, averaging 106. Given this, he should be happy with the draw. The Asp was going great guns prior to the shutdown but hasn’t been in the best form since the live restart.

Like Durrant, both Wright and Aspinall exited the World Grand Prix in the first round. Aspinall busted out in round one of the Matchplay too, albeit to eventual winner Dimitri van den Bergh

On form, Wright should take this despite a disappointing World Grand Prix, but the Asp can be very dangerous and might have the bigger of two snake bites here.

QUICK GLANCE AT DARTS PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS 

Venue: Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Dates: 15.10.2020

Format: Best of 19, 21

Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen

Where To Watch: Sky Sports Arena

When To Watch: (1900 GMT)

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Premier League Darts Night 10

Premier League Darts Night 10

Darts is back and coming at us thick and fast right now as we head into our fourth consecutive night of Premier League Darts, all of which is taking place in Milton Keynes at the Marshall Arena.

Despite the recent World Snooker Championships trialling fans in attendance for the final, the PDC have confirmed that the remainder of the Premier League regular season will conclude behind closed doors.

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We have enjoyed four nights of excellent top class arrows already this week as we blitz through the rest of the Premier League schedule. Last night, Judgement Night saw Rob Cross throw his last darts of the 2020 campaign as he was eliminated following his dismal defeat at the hands of Glen Durrant.

From here, anyone remaining will now be fancying their chances of reaching the playoffs. There’s no time to rest however as there are still another six nights play to be held over the next eight days as the action refuses to let up.

Tonight, things continue starting with the current table topper.

Glen Durrant V Gerwyn Price

What an opener this promises to be as the game’s two most in-form darters going head to head.

Duzza is holding on to a two point cushion at the top and will be buzzing from a hugely impressive three days so far in Milton Keynes.

On Tuesday, Duzza saw off Peter Wright before dismissing Michael van Gerwen in a 7-3 mauling which preceded Thursday’s 7-4 win over Rob Cross that saw the 2018 World Champion eliminated.

His opponent Gerwyn Price has dropped just the one solitary leg over the last two nights beating Gary Anderson and Jermaine Wattimena 7-1 and 7-0 respectively. The Welshman is looking far more like himself at the minute and together these two players in particular look as though they are enjoying the one match per day format.

This is maybe too tough to call and I just cant split this pair so I’ll go with a draw.

Peter Wright v Gary Anderson

Two world champions play next as Scottish pair Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright and Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson go head-to-head in game two.

Only two points separate these two World Cup winning teammates with Wright, second in the table, slightly ahead of Anderson.

Last month’s World Matchplay runner-up Gary Anderson is tied on points in fourth with Michael van Gerwen whom he has beaten 7-4 since the restart as well as Michael Smith but was sent packing by Gerwyn Price a day later.

Wright has posted back to back wins over Jeffrey de Zwaan and Daryl Gurney but he really should have recorded a 100% record this week and would have done were it not for some dodgy maths during his 6-6 draw with Glen Durrant on Tuesday.

This is sure to be another tight one and could go either way but, buoyed on from beating MVG last night, I think Anderson could well take the points here.

Nathan Aspinall v Michael van Gerwen

Michael van Gerwen has, rather unusually, lost back-to-back to games in as many nights. So unusual, in fact, that it’s the first time that’s happened in the Premier League since 2018.

The world number one is facing Nathan Aspinall, who battled back brilliantly to beat Michael Smith 7-5 last night when looking at defeat in the face.

That said, MVG’s poor run will end at some point and I think that point could well be tonight.

Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney

Daryl Gurney narrowly survived Judgement Night and will today play Michael Smith for his efforts. Bully Boy has hit 18 maximums hit in his last three games but somehow managed to lose on Thursday when he had victory almost in the bag against Nathan Aspinall.

With Rob Cross now gone, these two are the bottom pair and need to turn things around soon in the hope of making it to London for October’s revised playoff schedule.

Gurney has averaged a total 92.24 over his three games this week and could struggle against Smith, who is favourite for a reason. I think Smith will win with ease here unless Superchin can find some form from somewhere.

  • (7/5) Glen Durrant (15/4) Gerwyn Price (13/10)
  • (20/21) Peter Wright (15/4) Gary Anderson (2/1)
  • (11/5) Nathan Aspinall (15/4)  Michael van Gerwen (5/6)
  • (5/6) Michael Smith (15/4) Daryl Gurney (1/5)

Prices from bet365

Remaining fixtures and dates

Night 11, Saturday August 29

  • Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
  • Michael Smith v Nathan Aspinall
  • Gary Anderson v Glen Durrant
  • Michael van Gerwen v Gerwyn Price

Night 12, Sunday August 30

  • Nathan Aspinall v Gary Anderson
  • Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
  • Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
  • Glen Durrant v Daryl Gurney

Night 13, Wednesday September 2

  • Glen Durrant v Michael Smith
  • Daryl Gurney v Gary Anderson
  • Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
  • Gerwyn Price v Nathan Aspinall

Night 14, Thursday September 3

  • Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
  • Gary Anderson v Michael Smith
  • Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
  • Glen Durrant v Michael van Gerwen

Night 15, Friday September 4

  • Daryl Gurney v Nathan Aspinall
  • Glen Durrant v Peter Wright
  • Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
  • Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price

Night 16, Saturday September 5

  • Peter Wright v Michael Smith
  • Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
  • Nathan Aspinall v Glen Durrant
  • Gerwyn Price v Gary Anderson

Play-Offs – Thursday October 22

The O2, London

Semi-Finals (Best of 19 legs)

  • First v Fourth
  • Second v Third

Finals (Best of 21 legs)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

QUICK GLANCE AT DARTS PREMIER LEAGUE NIGHT 10

Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes

Dates: 28.08.2020

Format: Max of 12

Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen

Where To Watch: Sky Sports

When To Watch: (1900 GMT)

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