Premier League Darts

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Premier League
Tournament information
Venue Various
Location Various
Country United Kingdom and Ireland
Established 2005
Organisation(s) PDC
Format Legs
Prize fund £550,000 (2014)
Month(s) Played February – May
Current champion(s)
Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld

The Premier League Darts is a darts tournament which launched on 20 January 2005 on Sky Sports. The league is now played weekly from February to May, having originally started as a fortnightly fixture. The tournament originally featured seven players and now sees ten of the biggest names from the PDC circuit competing in a double round-robin format, with matches held across the United Kingdom and Ireland at different venues. The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit are joined by six wildcard selections to make up the ten-man field. The current sponsor is Betway.

The previous sponsors were McCoy's, Whyte and Mackay, who succeeded Holsten, having signed a three-year contract to support the event in October 2007,[1] and 888.com. The prize fund rose from £265,000 to £340,000 in 2008, steadily increasing each year for a prize fund of £550,000 in 2014. The winner currently receives £150,000.

Phil Taylor has dominated this event, winning six of the ten competitions to date. He went unbeaten throughout the first three seasons before James Wade ended his 44 match run in the first match of the 2008 season. A new champion was to be crowned after Mervyn King defeated him in the 2009 semi-finals. Wade defeated King 13–8 in the final, to pick up the £125,000 first prize. Phil Taylor defeated James Wade the following season to claim his fifth title in the competition in 2010, however he was defeated in the semi-final of the 2011 tournament. Gary Anderson became champion in his debut season by defeating Adrian Lewis in a repeat of the world championship final earlier that year. Phil Taylor reclaimed the title the following year, after defeating Simon Whitlock in the 2012 final, but lost the 2013 final to Michael van Gerwen. A year later, Taylor - who lost four of his first five games of the season and only secured qualification to the playoffs on the final league night - lost to eventual champion Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals.

Television coverage[edit]

The matches have been broadcast on Thursday nights on Sky Sports since the tournament inception. Originally the league alternated with Premier League Snooker one week and Premier League Darts the next. From 2006, the snooker moved to late autumn – giving the Premier League darts a straight weekly run in the spring.

American sports channel OLN aired the 2006 Premier League Darts season on a slight delay, in August 2006.

German sports channel DSF (Deutsches Sport Fernsehen) has broadcast many matches of the past two years live on TV and gives coverages of a selection of matches.

The PDC announced in January 2007 that the contract with Sky Television for coverage of the Premier League had been extended to 2010. [2]

Sponsorship[edit]

The tournament has had five title sponsors since it was formed in 2005. They are 888.com (2005, 2011), Holsten (2006–2007), Whyte and Mackay (2008–2010), McCoy's (2012–2013) and Betway (2014–present).

Finals[edit]

Year Final Tournament
Champion Score Runner-Up Best of Venue Sponsor Prize-pool Players Venues
2005 England Phil Taylor 16–4 England Colin Lloyd 31 legs G-Mex, Manchester 888.com £150,000 7 11
2006 England Phil Taylor (101.41) 16–6 Netherlands Roland Scholten (92.01) Plymouth Pavilions Holsten £167,500
2007 England Phil Taylor (99.20) 16–6 England Terry Jenkins (90.81) The Brighton Centre £265,000 8 15
2008 England Phil Taylor (108.36) 16–8 England James Wade (100.14) Cardiff International Arena Whyte & Mackay £340,000
2009 England James Wade (90.38) 13–8 England Mervyn King (85.83) 25 legs Wembley Arena £405,000
2010 England Phil Taylor (111.67) 10–8 England James Wade (100.08) 19 legs £410,000
2011 Scotland Gary Anderson (94.67) 10–4 England Adrian Lewis (85.75) 888.com
2012 England Phil Taylor (97.08) 10–7 Australia Simon Whitlock (95.32) The O2 Arena, London McCoy's £450,000
2013 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen (103.29) 10–8 England Phil Taylor (104.10) £520,000 10
2014 Netherlands Raymond van Barneveld (101.93) 10–6 Netherlands Michael van Gerwen (102.98) Betway £550,000 16

Tournament records[edit]

Appearances[edit]

Since the tournament made its debut in 2005, Phil Taylor has been the only player to appear in every Premier League competition. From 2005 until the 2010 tournament, the top six players in the PDC Order of Merit after the PDC World Darts Championship automatically qualified, with one wildcard (2005 and 2006) and two wildcards (2007–2010) chosen by either the PDC or Sky Sports. From the 2011 tournament, only the top four in the PDC Order of Merit automatically qualified, with four wildcards (2011 and 2012) chosen by both the PDC and Sky Sports. In 2013, the tournament grew from eight players to ten, with the top four players in the PDC Order of Merit automatically qualifying and six other players chosen as Wildcards on the basis of their performance in the past year or in earlier editions of

the Premier League.

In 2014, Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall were the latest players to make their Premier League debuts.

Appearances Player Years Notes
10 Phil Taylor 2005–present
9 Raymond van Barneveld 2006–present
7 Adrian Lewis 2007–2008
2010–present
Made a guest appearance in 2009
6 James Wade 2008–2013
5 Terry Jenkins 2007–2011
Simon Whitlock 2010–present
4 Peter Manley 2005–2008
Wayne Mardle 2005–2006
2008–2009
Gary Anderson 2011–present Made a guest appearance in 2009
3 Colin Lloyd 2005–2007
Roland Scholten 2005–2007
John Part 2005
2008–2009
2 Ronnie Baxter 2006
2010
Mervyn King 2009–2010
Andy Hamilton 2012–2013
Michael van Gerwen 2013–present
Wes Newton 2013–present
Robert Thornton 2013–present Made a guest appearance in 2009
1 Mark Dudbridge 2005
Dennis Priestley 2007 Made a guest appearance in 2009
Jelle Klaasen 2009
Mark Webster 2011 Made a guest appearance in 2009
Kevin Painter 2012
Dave Chisnall 2014–present
Peter Wright 2014–present

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whyte & Mackay to sponsor Premier League planetdarts.tv
  2. ^ http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/PremierLeagueDetail/0,,10180~962208,00.html
  3. ^ "888.com Premier League Darts - Night 11". PDC. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/sports-latest/2011/04/22/premier-league-super-scot-gary-anderson-breaks-180-record-during-demolition-of-simon-whitlock-86908-23078799/

External links[edit]