Grand Slam of Darts
|Grand Slam of Darts|
|Prize fund||£400,000 (2009)|
|Michael van Gerwen|
The Grand Slam of Darts is a darts tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation and is known as the bwin 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, making him the only BDO player to win the title, as of 2016. Taylor reclaimed the title in 2011, defeating Gary Anderson 16–4. Raymond van Barneveld defeated Michael van Gerwen 16–14 in the 2012 final, but Taylor regained the trophy in 2013, retained it in 2014, before losing to van Gerwen in 2015. Van Gerwen then retained it in 2016.
Grand Slam of Darts finals
|Year||Champion (average in final)||Score||Runner-up (average in final)||Prize money||Sponsor||Venue|
|2007||Phil Taylor (101.75)||18–11||Andy Hamilton (100.97)||£300,000||£80,000||£35,000||PartyBets.com||Civic Hall, Wolverhampton|
|2008||Phil Taylor (106.25)||18–9||Terry Jenkins (100.92)||£356,000||£100,000||£40,000||PartyPoker.com|
|2009||Phil Taylor (103.94)||16–2||Scott Waites (94.16)||£400,000||£50,000|
|2010||Scott Waites (99.86)||16–12||James Wade (92.79)||Daily Mirror|
|2011||Phil Taylor (109.04)||16–4||Gary Anderson (98.92)||William Hill|
|2012||Raymond van Barneveld (95.79)||16–14||Michael van Gerwen (98.55)|
|2013||Phil Taylor (98.14)||16–6||Robert Thornton (97.02)|
|2014||Phil Taylor (102.45)||16–13||Dave Chisnall (98.02)||Singha Beer|
|2015||Michael van Gerwen (100.94)||16–13||Phil Taylor (102.53)|
|2016||Michael van Gerwen (98.74)||16–8||James Wade (90.73)|
|Michael van Gerwen||2||1||3|
|Raymond van Barneveld||1||0||1|
Previous BDO v PDC tournaments
There have been previous tournaments in which players from both the PDC and BDO have competed. Between 1997 and 2001, several BDO players competed in the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix – this was as a result of a 1997 Tomlin Order which allowed freedom of players to enter more events. This was later restricted from the start of 2002 onwards, when eligibility rules allowed only Professional Dart Players Association members to compete in the tournaments.
The 2005 Masters of Darts was the first tournament to feature the top players from each organisation. In 2006 and 2007, following Raymond van Barneveld's move to the PDC, the Dutch organisers of the International Darts League and World Darts Trophy invited some top 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. Five players have appeared in all ten 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 provided reporting duties and player interviews.
Jaturon Zane Himathongkom, International Sports Marketing Director at Singha Beer, said: "We are delighted to be a title sponsor for the Singha Beer Grand Slam of Darts and also an Official Beer partner of the PDC during 2014-2016. This is a fantastic event and also a splendid opportunity for us to be involved. I hope everyone will enjoy Singha Beer during the event." PDC Chairman Barry Hearn said: "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Singha Beer into the PDC family as our new sponsors for the SINGHA Beer Grand Slam of Darts and an Official Partner for the next three years. Their brand is recognised worldwide as a beer of leading quality, and with this sponsorship they'll be associated with the leading players in world darts, including a host of World Champions and other major tournament winners."
- "Taylor beaten by Beaton". Sky Sports. British Sky Broadcasting. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- "Grand Slam Of Darts Winners". Darts Database. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- ITV agree to cover Grand Slam This is London
- Weekly Top 10 Programmes Archived 2014-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board
- ITV signs deal with PDC for three more years ITV
- Sky Sports Snap Up Grand Slam PDC
- "Sky Sports and PDC agree new five-year deal". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "SINGHA Beer Sponsor Grand Slam". PDC. Retrieved 5 November 2014.