The PDC World Championships kick off this Thursday with 72 entrants from across the glob competing for the £1.5 million pound prize fund. Afternoon and evening sessions will be played throughout the tournament with international qualifiers having to proceed through a preliminary round before reaching big stage.
Michael van Gerwen has dominated the past twelve months, lifting the trophy in the past three major tournaments. Perhaps the Dutchman’s main competition will come from the reigning Champion Gary Anderson who will be looking to end a 7 month baron spell without a major trophy. Many have tipped fellow countryman Peter Wright for an impressive run following his run in the players Championship finals at Minehead. Whoever reaches the grand finale on January the third, there is sure to be plenty of twists and turns as the worlds biggest darts tournament rolls in the Alexandra Palace.
The opening session kicks off in spectacular fashion with the youthful exuberance of ‘Rasta’ Jamie Lewis facing the Players Championships surprise package Darryl Gurney in an intriguing first round tie. Former World Youth champion Keegan will shortly follow his fellow youngsters but faces a stern test in the shape of Peter Wright.
Mark Webster returns to the Ally Pally stage in stunning form. The Welshman has reached the last 16 in three of his last four majors, rejuvenating following a drastic dip of form nearly 18 months ago. Friday evening sees the clash of World number 11 Brendan Dolan and Australian Kyle Anderson. With popular crowd-pleaser Paul Nicholson falling by the wayside in recent years, the Perth born player has taken pole position to partner Simon Whitlock at next years World cup of Darts. A positive impression at this years Worlds could send him well on his way.
Saturday afternoon sees an influx of international flavour. Dutch trio Kim Viljanan, Sven Groen and Dimitri Van de Bergh all face tough opponents in their opening round meetings. The afternoon session sees the return of 16 time world champion Phil Taylor, as he looks to overcame a trophyless year well behind him. The man from Stoke narrowly missed out on his 17th title 12 months ago following a nail biting defeat to Gary Anderson.