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A Guide To PDC Darts Tournaments

Darts is a sport that has gained immense popularity over the years, and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has played a significant role in this. With a wide range of tournaments throughout the year, the PDC provides players and fans plenty of opportunities to watch and participate in the sport. Each tournament has its unique format and rules, from the prestigious World Championship to the unseeded UK Open.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the different PDC darts tournaments, including their history and rules. Whether you are a seasoned fan or new to the sport, this guide will tell you all you need to know about the tournaments held by the PDC.

Who Are The PDC?

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is a professional body that oversees and manages darts tournaments worldwide. It was formed in January 1992 as the World Darts Council (WDC) by 16 top professional players and managers who wanted to split from the British Darts Organisation (BDO).

The PDC has become the leading innovator in staging professional darts tournaments, constantly looking towards the future and improving the organization in every area. It has built a reputation for organizing major televised events like the Premier League, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, and the World Championship.

PDC Darts Tournaments

Here’s a list of the darts tournaments currently held by the PDC.

World Darts Championship

The PDC World Darts Championship is an annual world professional darts championship held in London since 2008. The tournament runs from December to January at Alexandra Palace, and the winner is awarded the Sid Waddell Trophy.

It is considered the most prestigious tournament in the PDC and is part of the Triple Crown along with the Premier League Darts and World Matchplay. The championship began in 1994 as the WDC World Darts Championship after the World Darts Council broke away from the BDO. Since 2020, the PDC is the only organization that organizes a world championship in darts, as the BDO has since folded.

Premier League Darts

The Premier League Darts tournament is a knockout style competition featuring eight players from the PDC circuit, joined by four wildcard selections, competing weekly from February to May. The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit qualify for the event, which is part of the sport’s Triple Crown, along with the World Championship and World Matchplay.

Phil Taylor won six of the first thirteen tournaments, going unbeaten in the first three seasons until James Wade ended his run. Taylor also achieved two nine-dart finishes in the 2010 final against Wade. In 2022 the prize fund increased to £1,000,000, with the winner receiving £275,000.

World Matchplay

The World Matchplay is a major PDC tournament that has been held annually since 1994 in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Matches had to be won by two clear legs until 2012, but a sudden death leg is played after six extra legs starting from 2013.

The tournament has been won by eleven different players, with Phil Taylor winning 16 times, Michael van Gerwen three times, and others winning once. The current holder is Michael van Gerwen.

The tournament is regarded as the second biggest PDC Tournament, and the winner receives the Phil Taylor Trophy from 2018 onwards, following the retirement of the sixteen-time winner of the tournament.

World Grand Prix

The BoyleSports World Grand Prix has been held annually in Dublin, Ireland, since its founding in 1998. However, since 2021, the tournament has taken place in Leicester, England.

The tournament has had various sponsors over the years, including Paddy Power, Sky Bet, Bodog,, Unibet, and currently BoyleSports. The tournament replaced the earlier World Pairs tournament, which ran from 1995 to 1997.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 tournament was held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, and since 2021, it has been held at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.

UK Open

The Cazoo UK Open is a major darts tournament held annually at the Butlins Minehead Resort in England. It is unique because it has an unseeded open draw made after each round, and players at all levels of darts can participate.

The tournament involves 160 players competing over eight stages before the PDC’s Top 32 enter the tournament in the fourth round. The prize fund for the event is £450,000, with the winner receiving £100,000. It is commonly referred to as the ‘FA Cup of darts’.

European Championship

The European Darts Championship is an annual tournament that began in 2008 with a prize fund of £200,000. The first event was held in Frankfurt, Germany and subsequent tournaments have been held in different locations including the Claus Hotel & Event Center in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, Dinslaken and Düsseldorf in Germany, and Hasselt in Belgium.

In 2018, the tournament moved back to Germany in Dortmund and has since been held in Göttingen, Oberhausen, Salzburg, Austria, and then returned to Dortmund in 2022.

Grand Slam of Darts

The Grand Slam of Darts is a tournament that invites the best performing players from its rival, the British Darts Organisation (BDO). This arrangement lasted until the BDO’s collapse into liquidation in 2020.

The tournament was first held in 2007 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, and it is classified as a ranking-tournament since 2015. Phil Taylor won the first three finals, and other winners have included Scott Waites, Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen, and Gerwyn Price. The trophy was renamed in honor of Eric Bristow after his death in 2018.

Players Championship Finals

The Players Championship Finals is a darts tournament that initially featured the top 32 players from the Players Championship Order of Merit, but the field increased to 64 players in 2016.

The event was first announced by PDC chairman Barry Hearn at the PDC Awards Dinner in January 2008 and was held from late January to February. It was originally held at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, which was the venue for the first 14 PDC World Championships. For the third edition, the event moved to the Doncaster Dome.

Michael Fielding

Michael Fielding

Michael has been playing Darts for more than 20 years and is passionate about helping others improve their game through his own experiences.