There was already a lot of commotion before even one dart was thrown, but tomorrow night the Premier League Darts will really start. Up to and including May 25, eight darts players compete against each other every Thursday evening. Will Michael van Gerwen extend his title or will he be succeeded by another Premier League champion this year? The start of the Premier League, tomorrow evening in Belfast, is immediately provided with a nice poster: the replay of the World Cup final between Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen.
Premier League darts controversy
A poster that, moreover, should try to divert attention somewhat from all the criticism that there was prior to the Premier League. Van Gerwen and Smith, together with Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price, were already assured of participation in the annual tournament as numbers one to four in the world, but the remaining four tickets are invariably handed out by the PDC itself. The choice fell on Nathan Aspinall, Chris Dobey, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jonny Clayton. And not, for example, Luke Humphries (number five in the world) and Danny Noppert (number eight in the world and UK Open winner). Joe Cullen, who narrowly lost to Van Gerwen in the Premier League final last year, is also not present. ,,A kick in the balls,’ is how the number twelve in the world called that fact. Humphries also made himself heard: ,,The only thing I can say is that I am proud of my results, even if they are apparently not good enough.”
These are the eight players who do participate in the Premier League:
- Michael Smith
- Peter Wright
- Michael van Gerwen
- Gerwyn Price
- Johnny Clayton
- Nathan Aspinall
- Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Chris Dobey
There are no changes to the format of the Premier League Darts compared to last year. Every Thursday evening, the eight players compete in a knockout system (best of 11) for the day victory. The PDC has predetermined which players will face each other on which night (see schedule below). So the evenings start with four quarterfinals. The winners of those quarter-finals will play each other in the semi-finals and the winners of the semi-finals will play for the evening win (and £10,000) in the final. Will you be eliminated directly in the quarterfinals? Then you get zero points. Will you win in the quarterfinals, but lose in the semifinals? Then you get two points. Did you only lose in the final? Then you get three points. The winner of the evening earns five points for the ranking. The four darts players with the most points after sixteen rounds compete against each other in the play-offs. The number one then plays in the semi-final (best of 19) against the number four and the number two against the number three. The winners of the semi-finals play in the final (best of 21) for the overall victory of the Premier League. Find the complete 2023 Darts schedule here!