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Premier League Darts: All You Need To Know

The start of the darting calendar year is dominated by the Premier League where the PDC's creme de la creme head on a 17-week roadshow around the UK and Europe to try and scoop the big cheque.

Here’s all you need to know about the competition which is regarded as the second biggest only to the World Championship.

What: Premier League Darts

When: Thursday 2nd February 2023-Thursday 25th May 2023

Where: All around the UK and Europe

How to watch: Sky Sports

What is Premier League Darts?

The Premier League is a non-ranking league competition comprising of the best players in the world, plying their trade on the PDC tour.

It usually lasts from February to May/June and players earn points in a league table format before the top four qualify for the play offs which take place on the final night.

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The format was changed at the start of 2022 where each night is also its own knockout-style tournament - eight players are whittled down to two before the winner is determined. Points are awarded based on nightly performance.

When did Premier League Darts start?

The first edition was held in 2005 when Phil Taylor - commonly heralded as the greatest player of all time - defeated Colin Lloyd 16-4 in the final which took place at the G-Mex in Manchester.

Where is the Premier League played?

Currently, the Premier League is played at a variety of arenas across the UK and Europe. The likes of London's 02 Arena and Leeds' First Direct Arena are regular fixtures, while the tour heads to Dublin, Rotterdam, and Berlin too.

The venue of the plays offs and final has changed over the years with the 2022 edition being played at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin.

Who is selected for the Premier League?

The top four players in the PDC order of merit are automatically selected (last year, it was Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen, and James Wade).

Then, the remaining four spots are picked by the PDC and Sky Sports. Usually, players are selected based on their appeal to fans, given the tournament is unranked and travels around the country.

However, big wins in previous majors are also used as a yardstick for selection. Gary Anderson, Jonny Clayton, Michael Smith, and Joe Cullen were the other four players to play in 2022.

How are points allocated?

Five are awarded for winning each night with the runner-up receiving three. Each semi-finalist gets two points while the losing quarter-finalists leave empty-handed.

Who has won the Premier League in the past?

Taylor and Michael van Gerwen have been the dominant forces in Premier League Darts, with "The Power" winning the tournament six times since its inception in 2005, including each of the first four editions.

The Dutchman is also a six-time winner and is the current defending champion having beaten Joe Cullen 11-10 in a last-leg decider in June.

Gary Anderson is the only other player to have won multiple Premier Leagues, winning the trophy in 2011 and 2015. James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton have also been triumphant.

Where is Premier League Darts broadcast?

In the UK, the Premier League is broadcast on Sky Sports at 7pm. The tournament traditionally takes place on Thursday evenings.

How much prize money is available in the Premier League?

The tournament is one of the most lucrative on the tour with all players earning big money regardless of performance.

In 2022, Van Gerwen scooped £275,000 for winning outright while Cullen collected £125,000. The two losing semi-finalists on play-off night take home £85,000.

Meanwhile, fifth in the league standings earns £75,000. sixth gets £70,000, seventh takes £65,000 and the player who finishes bottom gets £60,000.

There is also a £10,000 bonus for the winner of each nightly tournament. Clayton took four of those bonuses in 2018 while Van Gerwen won three.

Who could make the line-up in 2023?

With only eight places available and four being automatic, the race for the Premier League is as close as ever.

The current top four (Price, Wright, Van Gerwen and Smith) look to be shoe-ins unless something dramatic happens at the upcoming World Championship.

However, at least a dozen players will be vying for the last four spots. Danny Noppert and Ross Smith won their first major titles this year and will be hoping for a call, while previous participants such as Nathan Aspinall and Rob Cross wait in the wings.

Anderson and Wade look vulnerable due to poor displays in televised tournaments over the past year while Clayton and Cullen have had quieter years compared to 2021, the former in particular. The latter could be helped by his run to last year's final.

When does the 2023 Premier League start?

The first round of the 2023 tournament is in Belfast on Thursday 2nd February while the final returns to London on Thursday May 25th.

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