Grand Slam of Darts
|Grand Slam of Darts|
|Prize fund||£400,000 (2009)|
The Grand Slam of Darts is a darts tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation and is known as the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts for sponsorship purposes. The PDC also invites the best performing players from its rival the British Darts Organisation. There have been two previous head-to-head matches between the champions of the two organisation and a few overseas tournaments have also featured BDO v PDC clashes, but this tournament is the first of its kind to be held in the United Kingdom.
The tournament has been staged each November at the Wolverhampton Civic since it began in 2007. Phil Taylor won the first three finals against Andy Hamilton in 2007, Terry Jenkins in 2008 and Scott Waites in 2009. Taylor did not reach the final in 2010, losing to Steve Beaton in the quarter-finals. Scott Waites won that year, beating James Wade 16–12 in the final having trailed 8–0. Taylor reclaimed the title in 2011, defeating Gary Anderson 16-4. Raymond van Barneveld defeated Michael van Gerwen 16-14 in the 2012 final.
|Year||Champion (average in final)||Legs||Runner-Up (average in final)||Sponsor||Prize Fund||Champion||Runner-up|
|2007||Phil Taylor (101.75)||18–11||Andy Hamilton (100.97)||PartyBets.com||£300,000||£80,000||£35,000|
|2008||Phil Taylor (106.25)||18–9||Terry Jenkins (100.92)||PartyPoker.com||£356,000||£100,000||£40,000|
|2009||Phil Taylor (103.94)||16–2||Scott Waites (94.16)||£400,000||£100,000||£50,000|
|2010||Scott Waites (99.86)||16–12||James Wade (92.79)||Daily Mirror||£400,000||£100,000||£50,000|
|2011||Phil Taylor (109.04)||16–4||Gary Anderson (98.92)||William Hill||£400,000||£100,000||£50,000|
|2012||Raymond van Barneveld (95.79)||16–14||Michael van Gerwen (98.55)||£400,000||£100,000||£50,000|
|2013||Phil Taylor (98.14)||16–6||Robert Thornton (97.02)||£400,000||£100,000||£50,000|
Previous BDO v PDC tournaments
There have been previous tournaments in which players from both the PDC and BDO have competed. Between 1998 and 2001 several BDO players competed in the World Matchplay – this was as a result of a 1997 Tomlin Order which allowed freedom of players to enter more events. This was later restricted when eligibility rules allowed only Professional Dart Players Association members to compete in the tournament.
The 2005 Masters of Darts was the first tournament to feature the top players from each organisation, and in 2006 and 2007 the Dutch organisers of the International Darts League and World Darts Trophy invited some PDC players to compete alongside BDO players.
As the Grand Slam is an invitational tournament for players who have reached major finals and semi-finals, or been the top of their countries' respective rankings, there is a certain degree of prestige attached to qualifying for the tournament, and even more for entrants who qualify multiple times. Seven players have appeared in all seven tournaments so far.
ITV screened the first four Grand Slam of Darts, which ended their 19 year absence from regular darts coverage (although they did show a one-off Clash of Champions match between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld in 1999). The inaugural event saw selected first round games, the semi-finals, and the final all screened live on ITV1 and the rest of the tournament live on ITV4 but the live coverage was moved entirely to ITV4 in subsequent years, with highlights packages being the only coverage of the event on ITV1.
The tournament proved popular on ITV4, with the 2009 event achieving nine out of the top ten places in the channel's output for that week. Viewing figures ranged from 208,000 to 435,000 with the final itself watched by 454,000. ITV extended their contract with the PDC to show the tournament until at least 2010.
The presenting team consisted of lead presenter Matt Smith, and analysts Alan Warriner-Little and Chris Mason (who replaced Steve Beaton in 2008). The commentating team included Stuart Pyke, who also commentates on darts for Sky Sports, boxing commentator John Rawling, and Peter Drury. Janie Omorogbe provides reporting duties and player interviews.
On Monday 24 October 2011 PDC Chairman Barry Hearn confirmed that William Hill, Britain's biggest bookmaker, would be the title sponsor of the 2011 Grand Slam of Darts saying, "We'd like to welcome William Hill as the new title sponsors of the 2011 Grand Slam of Darts and look forward to working with such a well-known and respected brand.
"This tournament brings together the greatest players in darts, who have qualified by virtue of their achievements in major tournaments over a two-year period, and in William Hill we have a sponsor whose stature reflects that."
William Hill Chief Marketing Officer Kristof Fahy said: "The William Hill Grand Slam of Darts is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world of darts and it's a privilege to be able to put our name to such an event."
- "Taylor beaten by Beaton". Sky Sports (British Sky Broadcasting). 20 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- ITV agree to cover Grand Slam This is London
- Weekly Top 10 Programmes Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
- ITV signs deal with PDC for 3 more years ITV
- Sky Sports Snap Up Grand Slam PDC
- William Hill to Sponsor Grand Slam of Darts William Hill News