Today sees the start of the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals from Butlins in Minehead. This is the last televised major darts tournament before the PDC Darts World Championships start in London on 18th December.
As major TV tournaments go, the Players Championship isn’t one of the most prestigious, but it is still a sought after title and a good marker of form with the World Championships less that three weeks away. Last year seen Michael van Gerwen lift the title, with a 11-7 victory over Phil Taylor in the final, with van Gerwen then going on to lift his first world crown a few weeks later.
The tournament is held over 3 days (28th-30th November), with coverage live starting today on ITV4 at 12.45pm. The winner of this title can expect a nice cheque of £65,000 – with an overall prize pool of £300,000 being shared out amongst the players over the weekend.
The format for this tournament is straight forward legs, with the first round played over the best of 11 legs (first to 6). The second round and quarter-finals are both played over the best of 19 legs, with the semi-finals and the final played over the best of 21 legs (first to 11).
So as you can see it is a short and sweet competition, which does increase the chances of shock results. Form players leading into this competition are Gary Anderson who won the most recent competition last weekend in Coventry, to complete a remarkable year for the Scotsman as it seen him to the 2014 PDC ProTour Order of Merit.
That doesn’t make Anderson the favourite in the betting though, that honour falls to Phil Taylor (yet again), who finds himself a best price of 12/5 with Paddy Power to lift his fourth title in this event.
Michael van Gerwen is second favourite at 3/1 with Coral (Bet £5, get £20 free bet)
James Wade is third favourite at 12/1 with Boylesports (£50 in free bets)
Gary Anderson is fourth favourite at 14/1 with Paddy Power
First Round Fixtures in full are….
Friday Afternoon Session – starting at 12.45pm
Ian White v Jamie Caven
Justin Pipe v Wes Newton
Brendan Dolan v Kevin Painter
Robert Thornton v Darren Webster
Kim Huybrechts v Terry Jenkins
Michael Smith v Andy Smith
Simon Whitlock v Dean Winstanley
Mervyn King v Andrew Gilding
Friday Evening Session – starting at 7.00pm
Stephen Bunting v Steve Beaton
Vincent van der Voort v Andy Hamilton
James Wade v Jelle Klaasen
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall
Phil Taylor v Ronnie Baxter
Gary Anderson v Christian Kist
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Benito van de Pas