Darts: Players Championship Finals Preview

By
Updated: February 3, 2011

DARTS STARS AIM UP AT THE DOME

THE world’s top darts players will descend on the Doncaster Dome on Thursday, with the £250,000 Players Championship Finals being held from at the venue over four days.

Phil Taylor, the 15-time World Champion, will head the field of 32 stars who will compete for the £60,000 title in the internet-streamed event, which also features new World Champion Adrian Lewis and Mexborough’s Dennis Priestley.

Priestley, who has maintained his place in the world’s top 32 and won the Australian Open since turning 60 last summer, will be involved on the tournament’s opening night on Thursday when he takes on Derby-based Andy Hamilton.

Middlesbrough-born Colin Osborne will open the tournament against Denis Ovens, while Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter takes on Andy Smith, World Championship finalist Gary Anderson plays Justin Pipe and Colin Lloyd plays Jelle Klaasen on the first night.

The first round, played over the cut-throat best-of-11-leg format, will conclude on Friday night, including Taylor’s clash with Bristol’s rising star Steve Brown as the world number one bids to recapture the title he previously won in 2009.

Lewis plays former World Champion Steve Beaton, world number three James Wade takes on Mark Dudbridge and number one seed Simon Whitlock – who won six Players Championship tournaments in 2010 – will play Hartlepool’s Tony Eccles.

Taylor could meet Wade should both progress to the second round, and may also face his conqueror in the World Championship quarter-finals, Mark Webster, in the last eight.

However, the 50-year-old said: “I can’t look ahead to who I might play later in the tournament because I’ve got to get past Steve first.

“He’s a good young player and he’s made a lot of progress in the last year or so, and he’s knocking on the door of the top 32. I won’t be taking him lightly but if I get past him it will be a tough route through.”

Taylor lost his World Championship title recently and hasn’t won a major tournament since the start of August at the European Championship, and Brown is targeting his maiden win over the Stoke legend on Friday night.

“There’s never a good time to play Phil, but it is a short format and this may be a great chance for me,” said Brown.

“We all practice in our bedrooms or our local clubs and go through the process of needing double top to beat Phil Taylor in our practice routines. To play him in a major competition is something you dream of and I’m looking forward to it.”

The second round of the Players Championship Finals will be held across two sessions on Saturday, with the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and the semi-finals and finals played in one session on Sunday evening.

Coverage of the tournament is exclusively live for subscribers to PDCtv at the PDC’s official website, www.pdc.tv.

Tickets for the Players Championship Finals are still available, priced at £20 and £25, by calling 01302 370777 or in person at The Dome’s Box Office.

NUS Card Holders can purchase half-price tickets for the opening night on Thursday February 3, by producing their NUS Card when buying tickets in person or collecting from The Dome’s Box Office.

Schedule of Play
Thursday February 3 – 7pm-11pm
First Round
Denis Ovens v Colin Osborne
Andy Hamilton v Dennis Priestley
Mark Walsh v Steve Farmer
Jamie Caven v Barrie Bates
Ronnie Baxter v Andy Smith
Wayne Jones v Kevin Painter
Gary Anderson v Justin Pipe
Colin Lloyd v Jelle Klaasen
Tickets £20
Half-price tickets for Thursday February 3 are available for NUS Card Holders.

Friday February 4 – 7pm-11pm
First Round
Vincent van der Voort v Terry Jenkins
Mervyn King v Co Stompe
Wes Newton v Richie Burnett
Mark Webster v Alan Tabern
Simon Whitlock v Tony Eccles
James Wade v Mark Dudbridge
Phil Taylor v Steve Brown
Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton
Tickets £25

Saturday February 5
Second Round
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Caven/Bates v Baxter/Smith
Walsh/Farmer v Ovens/Osborne
Anderson/Pipe v Jones/Painter
Lloyd/Klaasen v Hamilton/Priestley
Tickets £20

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Newton/Burnett v Webster/Tabern
Whitlock/Eccles v King/Stompe
van der Voort/Jenkins v Lewis/Beaton
Taylor/Brown v Wade/Dudbridge
Tickets £25

Sunday February 6
Quarter-Finals
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Whitlock/Eccles/King/Stompe v van der Voort/Jenkins/Lewis/Beaton
Newton/Burnett/Webster/Tabern v Taylor/Brown/Wade/Dudbridge
Anderson/Pipe/Jones/Painter v Caven/Bates/Baxter/Smith
Walsh/Farmer/Ovens/Osborne v Lloyd/Klaasen/Hamilton/Priestley
Tickets £20

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Semi-Finals & Final
Tickets £25

Format
First Round – Best of 11 legs
Second Round – Best of 15 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 17 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 19 legs
Final – Best of 25 legs
There will be no tie-break in any game.
The order of play for the Semi-Finals will be decided by the toss of a coin.

Prize Fund
Winner: £60,000
Runner-Up: £24,000
Semi-Finalists: £15,000
Quarter-Finalists: £10,000
Second Round Losers: £6,000
First Round Losers: £3,000
Total: £250,000

Draw Bracket
Top Half
Simon Whitlock (1) v Tony Eccles (32)
Mervyn King (16) v Co Stompe (17)
Vincent van der Voort (8) v Terry Jenkins (25)
Adrian Lewis (9) v Steve Beaton (24)
Wes Newton (5) v Richie Burnett (28)
Mark Webster (12) v Alan Tabern (21)
Phil Taylor (4) v Steve Brown (29)
James Wade (13) v Mark Dudbridge (20)
Bottom Half
Gary Anderson (2) v Justin Pipe (31)
Wayne Jones (15) v Kevin Painter (18)
Jamie Caven (7) v Barrie Bates (26)
Ronnie Baxter (10) v Andy Smith (23)
Mark Walsh (6) v Steve Farmer (27)
Denis Ovens (11) v Colin Osborne (22)
Colin Lloyd (3) v Jelle Klaasen (30)
Andy Hamilton (14) v Dennis Priestley (19)

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