Template - Date: Betway Premier League 2017

The ten-player field for next year’s £825,000 tournament also featuring former champions Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson, James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld.

Dutch star Klaasen consolidated his status inside the world’s top ten during 2016, following up a run to the World Championship semi-finals by reaching the last four at the UK Open and the European Championship quarter-finals.

Klaasen previously competed in the 2009 Premier League, and will get a second chance to compete alongside the sport’s elite stars in the forthcoming season, which begins at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Thursday February 2.

Belgian star Huybrechts also returns to make his second Premier League appearance, having previously competed in the 2015 tournament, having reached three TV quarter-finals during 2016 and the World Cup of Darts semi-finals alongside brother Ronny.

With the world’s top four players – van Gerwen, Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis – qualifying by right, Klaasen and Huybrechts are two of the six Wildcard selections.

BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2016 PLAY OFF FINALS O2 ARENA LONDON PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FINAL PHIL TAYLOR V MICHAEL VAN GERWEN MICHAEL VAN GERWEN WINS

Six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor is a Wildcard for the first time after dropping down to sixth in the PDC Order of Merit, with fellow former champions James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld joining Dave Chisnall in completing the ten-player field.

The Betway Premier League season will see the ten players face each other once over the opening nine weeks before the bottom two players are eliminated following Judgement Night on March 30.

The remaining eight players then compete over the remaining six league nights for places in the top four to progress to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 18, with the semi-finals and final deciding the 2017 champion.

A record £250,000 first prize is on offer for the 2017 Betway Premier League champion, with a £25,000 League Leader’s Bonus also on offer for the player who finishes the regular season at the top of the league table.

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2017 Betway Premier League:

Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands) – reigning Premier League champion
Gary Anderson (Scotland) – 2011 & 2015 Premier League champion
Peter Wright (Scotland) – 2014 World Championship finalist
Adrian Lewis (England) – 2011 Premier League finalist
James Wade (England) – 2009 Premier League champion
Phil Taylor (England) – Six-time Premier League champion
Dave Chisnall (England) – 2015 Premier League semi-finalist
Jelle Klaasen (Netherlands) – 2009 Premier League competitor
Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands) – 2014 Premier League champion
Kim Huybrechts (Belgium) – 2015 Premier League competitor

Prize Fund:

Winner £250,000
Runner-Up £120,000
Semi-Finalists £80,000
Fifth Place £65,000
Sixth Place £55,000
Seventh Place £50,000
Eighth Place £45,000
Ninth Place £30,00
Tenth Place £25,000
League Leader’s Bonus £25,000
Total £825,000

2017 Betway Premier League Schedule

Night One – February 2, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Night Two – February 9, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Night Three – February 16, First Direct Arena, Leeds
Night Four – February 23, The Brighton Centre
Night Five – March 2, Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Night Six – March 9, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Night Seven – March 16, Rotterdam Ahoy
Night Eight – March 23, The Manchester Arena
Judgement Night – March 30, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Night Ten – April 6, 3Arena, Dublin
Night 11 – April 13, Echo Arena, Liverpool
Night 12 – April 20, The SSE Arena, Belfast
Night 13 – April 27, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Night 14 – May 4, The Sheffield Arena
Night 15 – May 11, GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Play-Offs – May 18, The O2, London
For tickets, visit www.pdc.tv/tickets

Template - Date: William Hill World Championship

It’s a dream final for both men – one trying to write a Hollywood blockbuster ending to the final chapter of his career while the other is looking to complete a Cinderella story of darting rags to riches in the space of a year.

Each one of those fairy-tales is now just one match away from becoming reality at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day.

As darting legend Taylor brings the curtain down on the greatest career in the sport’s history with a 21st and last World Championship final, we could be witnessing the crowning of another superstar as the 57-year-old faces a man who has taken the event by storm on his first visit to Alexandra Palace.

There could hardly be a bigger gulf in terms of experience, with Taylor a 16-time World Champion who boasts over 100 TV tournament wins as opposed to Cross’ solitary appearance in the European Championship final in October. They pair, though, may have more in common that most would think given the plaudits Cross has been receiving this year on his meteoric rise to fame.

The 27-year-old from Hastings watched last year’s final at home and didn’t throw a dart on the ProTour until February 2017, but he’s already been likened to Taylor – even by the man himself – so it seems fitting he will be the Stoke legend’s last ever opponent.

Few people thought that 57-year-old Taylor would be able to take his swansong all the way to the final – and even the man himself said that he wasn’t playing well enough at the start of the event. However, the stars have aligned and a send-off in the biggest final in the sport is a fitting farewell to a legend.

“It’s surreal to be honest with you, it’s like I’m not even here,” said Taylor. “It’s like winning the lottery for me. “I never expected to beat Gary Anderson [in the quarter-finals], and the way Jamie [Lewis, in the semi-finals] was playing I thought I was going to be 4-0 down. “It’s a bit like John Part when he beat Kirk Shepherd in the final [in 2008], I’m just picking up the pieces to be honest with you.”

Cross is the top 180 hitter of the tournament with 55 to his name – over twice as many as Taylor with just 26 – but he’s only half a point better off in the tournament averages due to his rival’s clinical finishing after hitting 52 percent of his doubles. Hitting the right shots at the right times will also be a key factor and nobody does that better than Taylor – who won nine out of ten legs when Lewis was throwing for a set in their semi-final.

Cross also stepped up at the right times against Michael van Gerwen in his epic sudden death victory, most notably when taking out 126 and a brilliant 161 as set-clinching visits in Taylor-esque fashion. With a 30-year age gap between the two, Taylor is glad to have a day off on New Year’s Eve to recharge the batteries ahead of his big final farewell to darts.

“It will be massive,” he added. “And the best thing for me, I’ve got a day off so I can rest up. I’m shattered, two games on the trot under pressure is hard work so I’m thankful for a day off. Thank you for New Year’s Eve!

“I’m not going to practice, I’m just going to relax and get ready for the next day. Energy is all I need now. It’s hard, it really is. “I’m still playing okay, but not good enough really – I can play better.”

The rise of Cross to the top table of darts has been meteoric to say the least; with the 27-year-old having only turned pro at the start of the year and pocketing his first professional winnings in February he now plays the best player ever to pick up a dart in his last ever match – which just happens to be the World Championship final.

It’s a lot to take in but little seems to faze Cross, whose inner belief in his own ability seems to galvanise him even under the stresses and strains of tight matches on the big stage.

As Cross prepares to take on his ‘favourite player’ his Cinderella story could be a sign of things to come as he has proven that anyone with talent and hard work can get themselves to the higher echelons of darts.

“Actually, Phil said to me at the Grand Slam “me and you in the final” and now that’s come true,” revealed Cross, who is facing Taylor in competition for the first time.

“He’s my favourite player. He’s been dominant and now he’s leaving it’s going to be special for him but at the same time I’ve got to do my own job and do what I need to do to win that game. “It’s amazing, I never expected this rise. I’m just a working boy from a normal household. I believe in my ability and that’s how I got here.

“But who’s to say there’s not another person out there who can come and do all this, because it’s possible – anything’s possible. “So I’ve just got to get my head down now and focus on that game, because there’s just one game left to win the Worlds – it’s amazing.”

William Hill World Darts Championship

Monday January 1st (8pm)

Final
Rob Cross v Phil Taylor
Best of 13 sets

Prize Money:

Winner £400,000
Runner-Up £170,000
Semi-Finalists £85,000
Quarter-Finalists £40,000
Last 16 £27,000
Last 32 £18,500
Last 64 £11,000
Preliminary Round £4,500
Total £1,800,000

Full Schedule & Results

Thursday December 14th (7pm)

Preliminary & First Rounds (P) denotes Preliminary Round
Steve Beaton 3-1 William O’Connor
James Wilson 3-1 Krzysztof Ratajski
Michael van Gerwen 3-1 Christian Kist
Gerwyn Price 3-0 Ted Evetts

Friday December 15th (7pm)

Seigo Asada 2-1 Gordon Mathers (P)
Stephen Bunting 1-3 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Phil Taylor 3-1 Chris Dobey
Rob Cross 3-0 Seigo Asada

Saturday December 16th

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Brendan Dolan 2-0 Alan Ljubic (P)
Benito van de Pas 1-3 Steve West
Mervyn King 2-3 Zoran Lerchbacher
Robert Thornton 3-1 Brendan Dolan
Evening Session (7pm)
Jeff Smith 2-0 Luke Humphries (P)
Joe Cullen 2-3 Jermaine Wattimena
Jelle Klaasen 1-3 Jan Dekker
Gary Anderson 3-0 Jeff Smith

Sunday December 17th

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Kenny Neyens 1-2 Jamie Lewis (P)
Alan Norris 3-0 Kim Viljanen
Kyle Anderson 3-1 Peter Jacques
Jonny Clayton 0-3 Jamie Lewis
Evening Session
Willard Bruguier 1-2 Cody Harris (P)
James Wade 2-3 Keegan Brown
Dave Chisnall 0-3 Vincent van der Voort
Ian White 3-1 Cody Harris

Monday December 18th (7pm)

Kai Fan Leung 0-2 Paul Lim (P)
Mensur Suljovic 3-0 Kevin Painter
Daryl Gurney 3-1 Ronny Huybrechts
Mark Webster 2-3 Paul Lim

Tuesday December 19th (7pm)

Aleksandr Oreshkin 0-2 Kevin Munch (P)
John Henderson 3-0 Marko Kantele
Raymond van Barneveld 3-0 Richard North
Adrian Lewis 1-3 Kevin Munch

Wednesday December 20th (7pm)

Xiao Chen Zong 0-2 Bernie Smith (P)
Michael Smith 3-2 Steve Lennon
Simon Whitlock 3-1 Martin Schindler
Justin Pipe 3-2 Bernie Smith

Thursday December 21st (7pm)

Cristo Reyes 1-3 Toni Alcinas
Kim Huybrechts 0-3 James Richardson
Darren Webster 3-2 Devon Petersen
Peter Wright 3-1 Diogo Portela

Friday December 22nd

Second Round
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Gerwyn Price 4-1 Ian White
Vincent van der Voort 4-0 Steve Beaton
Jan Dekker 2-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Evening Session (7pm)
Mensur Suljovic 4-2 Robert Thornton
Gary Anderson 4-1 Paul Lim
Michael van Gerwen 4-0 James Wilson

Saturday December 23rd

Afternoon Session (1pm)
Keegan Brown 4-2 Zoran Lerchbacher
Michael Smith 3-4 Rob Cross
Steve West 4-1 Jermaine Wattimena
Evening Session (7pm)
Daryl Gurney 2-4 John Henderson
Phil Taylor 4-0 Justin Pipe
Raymond van Barneveld 4-1 Kyle Anderson

Wednesday December 27th

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Simon Whitlock 1-4 Darren Webster
Alan Norris 1-4 James Richardson
Kevin Munch 1-4 Tony Alcinas
Evening Session (7pm)
Peter Wright 1-4 Jamie Lewis
Third Round
VvdV 1-4 RvB
MvG 4-2 Gerwyn Price

Thursday December 28th

Afternoon Session (12.30pm)
Toni Alcinas 0-4 Darren Webster
Mensur Suljovic 0-4 Dimitri Van den Bergh
John Henderson 1-4 Rob Cross
Evening Session (7pm)
Jamie Lewis 4-1 James Richardson
Phil Taylor 4-0 Keegan Brown
Gary Anderson 4-2 Steve West

Friday December 29th

Quarter-Finals
Afternoon Session 12.30pm
Jamie Lewis 5-0 Darren Webster
Dimitri Van den Bergh 4-5 Rob Cross
Evening Session 7.30pm
Michael van Gerwen 5-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor 5-3 Gary Anderson

Saturday December 30th

Semi-Finals (7.30pm)
Jamie Lewis 1-6 Phil Taylor
MvG 5-6 Rob Cross

Monday January 1st

The Final (8.00pm)
Rob Cross v Phil Taylor

Format:

  • Semi-Finals Best of 11 sets
  • Final Best of 13 sets

All sets are the best of five legs. A tie-break would be in operation in all matches other than the Preliminary Round. Any match which goes to a deciding set must be won by two clear legs. If the score in the final set reaches 5-5, a sudden-death leg will be played.

Current PDC OoM Top 64 with the Winners prize money of the William Hill World Championship to be added.

 

1 Gerwen, Michael van £1,799,250
2 Wright, Peter £754,250
3 Taylor, Phil £508,250
4 Anderson, Gary £458,250
5 Gurney, Daryl £416,750
6 Cross, Rob £381,250
7 Suljovic, Mensur £373,500
8 Chisnall, Dave £332,500
9 Whitlock, Simon £310,250
10 Wade, James £276,250
11 Barneveld, Raymond van £273,750
12 Smith, Michael £267,750
13 Price, Gerwyn £264,750
14 Pas, Benito van de £255,000
15 White, Ian £253,250
16 Norris, Alan £244,250
17 Huybrechts, Kim £236,750
18 Klaasen, Jelle £233,000
19 Cullen, Joe £219,250
20 Webster, Darren £209,000
20 Lewis, Adrian £209,000
22 Bunting, Stephen £192,500
23 Anderson, Kyle £182,500
24 King, Mervyn £180,500
25 Beaton, Steve £180,000
26 Pipe, Justin £152,000
27 Thornton, Robert £151,750
28 Henderson, John £150,750
29 Reyes, Cristo £147,750
30 Lewis, Jamie £147,000
31 Wilson, James £143,250
32 Clayton, Jonny £143,000
33 West, Steve £136,750
34 Voort, Vincent van der £127,500
35 Webster, Mark £122,500
36 Dobey, Chris £114,750
37 Dolan, Brendan £111,500
38 Kist, Christian £107,500
39 Bergh, Dimitri Van Den £105,500
40 Wattimena, Jermaine £104,250
41 Jenkins, Terry £98,500
42 Green, Robbie £92,250
43 Huybrechts, Ronny £91,250
44 Richardson, James £85,750
45 Dekker, Jan £79,250
46 Caven, Jamie £78,750
47 Painter, Kevin £74,000
48 Brown, Keegan £66,000
49 Payne, Josh £63,750
50 Hopp, Max £63,500
51 Petersen, Devon £63,000
52 North, Richard £60,000
53 Meulenkamp, Ron £58,500
54 Murnan, Joe £56,000
55 Graaf, Jeffrey de £54,750
56 Gilding, Andrew £53,500
57 O’Connor, William £50,750
58 Rodriguez, Rowby-John £49,000
59 Evans, Ricky £48,750
60 Lennon, Steve £48,250
61 Lerchbacher, Zoran £47,000
62 McGowan, Mick £45,500
63 Jacques, Peter £43,000
64 Alcinas, Antonio £41,500