Darters Ready To Delight Dublin As Young Gun Draws ‘The Power’
PHIL TAYLOR will begin his challenge to win an 11th PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix against youngster Michael Smith when the £350,000 tournament commences on Monday October 8 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Taylor defeated Brendan Dolan in last year’s final to continue his unrivalled run of success in the tournament, which is unique for the double-start format which sees players have to both begin and end each leg with a double.
Taylor’s first round opponent will be talented St Helens youngster Michael Smith, who is managed by world number four Gary Anderson and won his second senior ranking title at a Players Championship in Benidorm earlier this year.
“I love the World Grand Prix because it’s a great challenge,” said Taylor. “The double-start format always makes it interesting but it’s a title I love winning.
“The Irish fans create a great atmosphere and when I played Brendan in the final last year it was one of the most special nights I’ve ever had. It would be brilliant to win the title again this year, but it won’t be easy.
“Michael’s a great young prospect and he’s already won a couple of ranking events, which shows his quality. I’ve got ten days or so to prepare and I know I’ll have to be at the top of my game.”
World Champion Adrian Lewis drew Welshman Richie Burnett, who was a semi-finalist last year, while two-time World Grand Prix champion James Wade will face Colin Osborne in the first round.
European Championship winner Simon Whitlock faces Justin Pipe, number four seed Anderson drew Northern Irish ace Dolan, while Fleetwood’s Wes Newton takes on Blackpool rival Ronnie Baxter.
Andy Hamilton will play Mark Webster and Terry Jenkins, the number eight seed, drew Mervyn King.
With the tournament featuring just eight seeded players, the draw has thrown up a host of other tasty ties, including 2004 World Grand Prix champion Colin Lloyd up against in-form Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld drew in-form Stoke ace Ian White, Dave Chsinall will play debutant Dean Winstanley and Kevin Painter faces another new face, the European Championship semi-finalist Kim Huybrechts.
Ireland’s William O’Connor plays Vincent van der Voort, while Northern Irish left-hander Michael Mansell comes up against Paul Nicholson.
Three-time World Grand Prix quarter-finalist Andy Smith drew Steve Beaton, and Speedy Services UK Open champion Robert Thornton plays Mark Walsh.
The first round is split across Monday October 8 and Tuesday October 9, with the second round then played on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Citywest Hotel.
The quarter-finals will be held on the Friday night, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday, which will be preceded by the final of the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final between Daryl Gurney and Campbell Jackson.
Tickets for the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix are still available by calling 0844 871 8807 (UK) or 0044 114 223 9817 (non-UK) or by visiting www.seetickets.com to book online.
PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix Schedule of Play Monday October 8 (7pm-12am) First Round Mark Walsh v Robert Thornton Dean Winstanley v Dave Chisnall Simon Whitlock v Justin Pipe Terry Jenkins v Mervyn King Gary Anderson v Brendan Dolan Phil Taylor v Michael Smith Kevin Painter v Kim Huybrechts Vincent van der Voort v William O’Connor Table Tickets €20
Tuesday October 9 (7pm-12am) First Round Steve Beaton v Andy Smith Andy Hamilton v Mark Webster Michael van Gerwen v Colin Lloyd Wes Newton v Ronnie Baxter James Wade v Colin Osborne Adrian Lewis v Richie Burnett Raymond van Barneveld v Ian White Michael Mansell v Paul Nicholson Table Tickets €20
Wednesday October 10 (7pm-11pm) Second Round Anderson/Dolan v van der Voort/O’Connor Whitlock/Pipe v Painter/Huybrechts Taylor/M Smith v Walsh/Thornton Jenkins/King v Winstanley/Chisnall Table Tickets €25
Thursday October 11 (7pm-11pm) Second Round Hamilton/Webster v Beaton/A Smith Wade/Osborne v Mansell/Nicholson Lewis/Burnett v van Gerwen/Lloyd Newton/Baxter v van Barneveld/White Table Tickets €25
Friday October 12 (7pm-11pm) Quarter-Finals Order of Play To Be Confirmed Table Tickets – SOLD OUT Tier Tickets €35
Saturday October 13 (7pm-10pm) Semi-Finals Table Tickets – SOLD OUT Tier Tickets €35
Sunday October 14 Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final (6.15pm) Campbell Jackson v Daryl Gurney Followed by PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix Final (7pm-9pm) Table Tickets – €40 Tier Tickets €35
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket Phil Taylor (1) v Michael Smith Mark Walsh v Robert Thornton Terry Jenkins (8) v Mervyn King Dean Winstanley v Dave Chisnall Simon Whitlock (5) v Justin Pipe Kevin Painter v Kim Huybrechts Gary Anderson (4) v Brendan Dolan Vincent van der Voort v William O’Connor Adrian Lewis (2) v Richie Burnett Michael van Gerwen v Colin Lloyd Andy Hamilton (7) v Mark Webster Steve Beaton v Andy Smith Wes Newton (6) v Ronnie Baxter Raymond van Barneveld v Ian White James Wade (3) v Colin Osborne Michael Mansell v Paul Nicholson
Prize Fund Winner £100,000 Runner-Up £40,000 Semi-Finalists £20,000 Quarter-Finalists £12,500 Second Round Losers £7,000 First Round Losers £4,000 Total Prize Money £350,000 In addition, should a player hit a nine-dart finish, they would receive a £5,000 bonus. If more than one player achieves this feat, the bonus would be shared equally on a pro-rata basis.
Format First Round Best of Three Sets Second Round Best of Five Sets Quarter-Finals Best of Five Sets Semi-Finals Best of Nine Sets Final Best of 11 Sets All sets are the best of five legs. There will be no tie-break. All games are double-start and double-finish, meaning a player must first hit a double before he can begin scoring in each leg.