The draw (and the schedule) for the 2015 PDC William Hill World Darts Championship was made earlier this week, and with it, the start of the tournament seems that little bit closer.
The top 32 players from the main PDC Order of Merit (their numbers are in brackets below) are in the draw, with the remaining places made up by players winning through at various qualifying events.
There is in fact 72 players qualified, all of whom will get the chance to play at the Alexandra Palace. Of those 72 players, 16 will face each other in a straight knock out preliminary round, with the 8 winners joining the other 56 players in the first round proper.
Phil Taylor starts off the tournament as the bookies favourite, he can be backed at a best price of 2/1 with 888Sport (who have £88.00 in free bets for new customers) to win his SEVENTEENTH (17th) world title – absolutely amazing!
Preliminary Round Draw – Matches played over best of seven legs
Christian Perez v Cristo Reyes
Jani Haavisto v John Michael
Nolan Arendse v Alex Hon
Boris Koltsov v Haruki Muramatsu
Kim Viljanen v Sascha Stein
Mark McGrath v Scott Kirchner
Jermaine Wattimena v Robert Marijanovic
Scott Mackenzie v Daryl Gurney
The winners of the (above) eight Preliminary matches will then take their places in the first round proper, as follows. More information can be found on the official PDC website.
First Round Draw – Matches played over best of five sets
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Joe Cullen
Stuart Kellett (32) v Viljanen/Stein
Terry Jenkins (16) v John Weber
Justin Pipe (17) v Lawrence Ryder
Dave Chisnall (8) v Ryan De Vreede
Paul Nicholson (25) v Benito van de Pas
Robert Thornton (9) v Andrew Gilding
Ronnie Baxter (24) v Mackenzie/Gurney
Peter Wright (5) v Gerwyn Price
Andy Smith (28) v Ronny Huybrechts
Andy Hamilton (12) v Dave Richardson
Steve Beaton (21) v Kyle Anderson
Gary Anderson (4) v McGrath/Kirchner
Jelle Klaasen (29) v Christian Kist
Wes Newton (13) v Perez/Reyes
Kevin Painter (20) v Koltsov/Muramatsu
Phil Taylor (2) v Jyhan Artut
Mark Webster (31) v Ron Meulenkamp
Ian White (15) v Haavisto/Michael
Kim Huybrechts (18) v Mickey Mansell
Simon Whitlock (7) v Darren Webster
Dean Winstanley (26) v Wayne Jones
Mervyn King (10) v Max Hopp
Vincent van der Voort (23) v John Henderson
James Wade (6) v Jamie Lewis
Stephen Bunting (27) v Wattimena/Marijanovic
Brendan Dolan (11) v Arendse/Hon
Michael Smith (22) v Mensur Suljovic
Adrian Lewis (3) v David Pallett
John Part (30) v Keegan Brown
Raymond van Barneveld (14) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Jamie Caven (19) v Jason Hogg
The pick of the first round matches for me is John Part taking on Keegan Brown. This match is to be the opening match, and despite Part being the seed, Keegan Brown is currently favourite in the darts world championship betting at 8/15 with William Hill to knock out the former multiple world champion.
All of the preliminary and first round matches are to be played in the pre Christmas section of the tournament, 18th December to 23rd December. The second round will then start when the tournament commences – after the Christmas break – on the 27th December.