World Grand Prix (darts)
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|World Grand Prix|
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
"double in, double out"
|Prize fund||£400,000 (2014)|
|Michael van Gerwen|
The World Grand Prix is a PDC darts tournament held in Dublin each October. Its original venue was the Casino Rooms in Rochester, Kent in 1998 and 1999, and then for one year only in 2000 at the Crosbie Cedars Hotel in Rosslare, County Wexford. In 2001, the tournament moved further north to the Citywest Hotel in Dublin. In 2009, the tournament moved from the hall at the main Citywest Hotel to the newly completed bigger venue on site, the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre. When the World Grand Prix was founded in 1998, it replaced the earlier World Pairs tournament which ran from 1995 to 1997.
The World Grand Prix was sponsored by bookmakers Paddy Power from 2001 to 2003, before Sky Bet took over in 2004. The subsidiary Sky Poker was the tournament's sponsor in 2008. In 2010, online gambling company Bodog became the event's title sponsor, while PartyPoker.com took over as sponsor in 2011. In 2016, Unibet took over as sponsor.
Although he has dominated the event with eleven title wins, Phil Taylor has been knocked out of the World Grand Prix five times in the first round. In 2001, he lost 2–1 to qualifier Kevin Painter, in 2004 by 2 sets to 0 to Andy Callaby, in 2007 by 2–0 in sets to Adrian Gray, in 2015 by 2–0 in sets to Vincent van der Voort and in 2016 by 2–1 to Steve West.
The tournament is unusual in that it is the only televised event in which players must commence and finish each leg on a double including the bullseye.
There have been several different formats for the tournament. The first event in 1998 event was a straight knock-out tournament played in a setplay format with each set being contested over the best of three legs. The following year this changed to the best of five legs per set. Furthermore, a group stage was introduced in 1999, with there only being four seeded players for the event, all of whom reached the semi-finals. In 2000, the tournament reverted to being a straight knock-out and has remained so ever since.
The double-start format also makes landing a perfect nine-dart finish even more difficult, as it limits the number of combinations and guarantees that a player must either start or finish on the bullseye. The first nine-darter in Grand Prix history was completed by Brendan Dolan in the 2011 semi-final. In 2014, James Wade and Robert Thornton both hit perfect legs in the same match, the first time this happened in any televised event. On all three occasions, the leg started with a score of 160 (starting on double 20), followed by 180, followed by finishing 161 with treble 20, treble 17, and bullseye.
World Grand Prix Finals
The list of finals:
|Year||Champion (average in final)||Score||Runner-Up (average in final)||Prize Money||Sponsor||Venue|
|1998||Phil Taylor||13–8||Rod Harrington||£38,000||£9,000||£5,000||PDC||Casino Rooms, Rochester, Kent|
|1999||Phil Taylor (92.59)||6–1||Shayne Burgess (81.26)|
|2000||Phil Taylor (91.32)||6–1||Shayne Burgess (81.48)||£70,000||£15,000||£7,500||Crosbie Cedars Hotel, Rosslare|
|2001||Alan Warriner (83.52)||8–2||Roland Scholten (81.84)||£78,000||£15,000||£7,500||Paddy Power||Citywest Hotel, Dublin
(The Hall in the Main Hotel)
|2002||Phil Taylor (100.17)||7–3||John Part (88.62)||£70,000||£14,000||£7,000|
|2003||Phil Taylor (94.80)||7–2||John Part (83.25)||£76,000||£15,000||£7,500|
|2004||Colin Lloyd (85.29)||7–3||Alan Warriner (77.91)||£100,000||£20,000||£10,000||Sky Bet|
|2005||Phil Taylor (90.74)||7–1||Colin Lloyd (82.05)||£100,000||£20,000||£10,000|
|2006||Phil Taylor (88.24)||7–4||Terry Jenkins (82.51)||£130,000||£25,000||£12,500|
|2007||James Wade (86.03)||6–3||Terry Jenkins (84.58)||£200,000||£50,000||£20,000|
|2008||Phil Taylor (97.81)||6–2||Raymond van Barneveld (90.42)||£250,000||£50,000||£25,000||Sky Poker|
|2009||Phil Taylor (97.07)||6–3||Raymond van Barneveld (86.62)||£350,000||£100,000||£40,000||Sky Bet||Citywest Hotel, Dublin
(The Convention Centre)
|2010||James Wade (88.92)||6–3||Adrian Lewis (89.33)||Bodog|
|2011||Phil Taylor (90.29)||6–3||Brendan Dolan (84.68)||PartyPoker.com|
|2012||Michael van Gerwen (87.53)||6–4||Mervyn King (81.96)|
|2013||Phil Taylor (97.67)||6–0||Dave Chisnall (81.29)|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen (90.81)||5–3||James Wade (89.26)||£400,000||£100,000||£45,000|
|2015||Robert Thornton (90.79)||5–4||Michael van Gerwen (96.79)|
|2016||Michael van Gerwen (100.29)||5–2||Gary Anderson (92.73)||Unibet|
|Michael van Gerwen||3||1||4|
|Raymond van Barneveld||0||2||2|
World Pairs winners
The World Pairs event which preceded the introduction of this event was held between 1995 and 1997.
|1995|| Eric Bristow
|14–9 (legs)|| Keith Deller
|Butlin's Wonder West World, Ayr|
|1996|| Bob Anderson
|18–15 (legs)|| Chris Mason
|Willows Variety Centre, Salford|
|1997|| Raymond van Barneveld
|18–15 (legs)|| Richie Burnett
|Butlin's South Coast World, Bognor Regis|
The World Grand Prix has been broadcast in the UK by Sky Sports since the first tournament.