The 2023 Pro Tour season resumes at the Barnsley Metrodome this week and the 128 entrants for Players Championship events 22-24 have been confirmed.
The fields comprise of PDC Tour Card Holders and PDPA Associate Members and they will be competing across three days, with £12,000 on offer to the winner of each event.
Dave Chisnall, fresh from his success on the European Tour on Sunday, is top seed and he is joined by world champion Michael Smith, World Series Finals winner Michael van Gerwen and World Cup heroes Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton.
In fact, Corey Cadby, Adrian Lewis, Christian Perez and Luc Peters are the only four Tour Card holders absent from competition in Barnsley, which shows how much quality is on show.
Christian Kist, Cam Crabtree, Owen Bates and John Henderson replace that absent quartet and play will get underway at 1pm on Wednesday, September 27.
World number four Price, who has won three of the last five Players Championship events, is 11/2 to follow up after his dominant victory in event 21 three weeks ago.
Van Gerwen is also 11/2 but his last Players Championship triumph came way back in event 7 in Hildesheim in March.
Luke Humphries, who was runner-up to Chisnall at European Tour 12 on Sunday, is 8/1 and has already won two Players Championship events this season.
Smith is a 10/1 chance to win the weekend’s first event as he bids to emulate his victory in Players Championship 13 in Hildesheim in June.
Here’s a look at what we might expect to see in Barnsley as the field gears up for a trio of Players Championship events.
|What||Players Championship 22, 23 & 24|
|When||Wednesday, 27th September - Friday, 29th September, 2023|
|How to watch||PDC.tv|
|Odds (Players Championship 19)||Gerwyn Price 11/2, Michael van Gerwen 11/2, Luke Humphries 8/1, Michael Smith 10/1, Dave Chisnall 16/1, Nathan Aspinall 18/1|
In recent seasons, Humphries has proven himself to be one of the most consistent performers on the PDC Tour and this season has been no different.
The 28-year-old won Players Championship 20 earlier this month and has held that form ever since, having subsequently lost 11-10 to Van Gerwen in the semi-final of the World Series Finals and finished runner-up to Chisnall at European Tour 12 on Sunday.
However, Humphries was only narrowly beaten 8-7 by Chisnall despite averaging 100.97 and had earlier whitewashed Luke Woodhouse and defeated Price 7-4.
That shows Cool Hand Luke to be in imperious form and suggests he could have a starring role to play in Barnsley this week, making him of plenty of interest at 8/1 to reign supreme in Players Championship 22.
Humphries’ scoring power makes him a formidable opponent and the World Matchplay semi-finalist is edging ever closer to a breakthrough Major title.
The 38-year-old defeated promising duo Josh Rock and Gian van Veen in the Hildesheim finals and the Markham man will be full of confidence in south Yorkshire.
Price has already won a pair of European titles this term, and those victories were added to a World Cup win for Wales alongside Jonny Clayton.
The Iceman will be looking for a good run in Barnsley as he bids to successfully defend his World Series of Darts titles in Amsterdam later this month.
Chisnall has an in-and-out profile but when on-song he can be devastating and that was the case at the MVM Dome in Budapest this weekend.
Chizzy stormed to the European Tour 12 title, taking care of Scott Mitchell, Rowby-John Rodriguez, Van Gerwen, Scott Williams and Humphries to be the last man standing.
A 104.82 average in his final triumph over Humphries shows he held his nerve and, although yet to taste Players Championship success this season, he has twice finished runner-upl including in event 19 against Callan Rydz.
Chizzy will be keen to go one better at the Barnsley Metrodome this week and, with confidence soaring, odds of 16/1 about him winning Players Championship 22 may underestimate his prospects.
Dirk Van Duijvenbode has been a first-round casualty in his last two appearances at the World Series Finals and European Tour 12, although his averages were more than respectable.
The Dutchman averaged 96.74 in a 6-3 loss to eventual semi-finalist Williams at European Tour 12 last time out and had averaged 103.20 in his 6-4 defeat to Danny Noppert prior to that.
Having also lost 6-5 with an average of 100.16 against Josh Rock in the quarter-final of European Tour 11, Van Duijvenbode is evidently throwing well despite recent results.
So with a bit of luck from the draw, The Titan could enjoy a deep run in Barnsley and quotes of 22/1 about him winning Players Championship 22 must appeal.
Van Duijvenbode has won Players Championship 4, 6 and 10 this season and evidently thrives in these Floor events.