Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Darts
  2. World Matchplay Darts

World Matchplay: Debutants set for Blackpool as Raymond van Barneveld secures Winter Gardens return

The 32-man field has been confirmed for the forthcoming World Matchplay with two PDC Tour stars set to toe the oche at the fabled Winter gardens venue for the first time.

Josh Rock and Mike De Decker will both make their Blackpool bows after securing qualification at the weekend, whilst legendary pair Raymond van Barneveld and Steve Beaton both rubber-stamped their tickets to the summer showpiece having missed out in recent seasons.

The 2023 staging of the event will see 32 of the world’s leading arrowists battle it out for the coveted Phil Taylor trophy across nine days of pulsating action.

World champion Michael Smith will be the top seed at this year’s event following his rise to the summit of the PDC Order of Merit, with the rest of the top 16 making up the seeds.

They will be joined by the likes of Rock, De Decker and five-time world champion van Barneveld, who secured their spots in Blackpool via qualification through the one-year ProTour Order of Merit.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen is seeded third as he bids to claim a fourth World Matchplay success, with former winners Peter Wright (second), Rob Cross (fifth), Dimitri Van den Bergh (tenth) and James Wade (16) also amongst the seeded stars.

Michael van Gerwen

Last year's runner-up Gerwyn Price, who also landed a Winter Gardens nine-darter, is the fourth seed, while his World Cup-winning team-mate Jonny Clayton is the seventh seed.

2023 Masters champion Chris Dobey and UK Open winner Andrew Gilding are also amongst the 16 ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers, based on prize money won in European Tour events and Players Championships in the last year.

World Youth Champion Rock will look to continue his remarkable rise after being the leading ProTour Order of Merit qualifier, ahead of Germany's Martin Schindler, reigning European Champion Ross Smith and Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski.

De Decker's qualification for a World Matchplay debut means that Belgium will be represented by three players for the first time in the event's rich history, as he joins Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts in the field.

Van Barneveld makes his 13th World Matchplay appearance, with the 2010 runner-up having last competed in Blackpool five years ago.

Steve Beaton also makes his return following a two-year absence from the event to make a remarkable 22nd appearance in the World Matchplay, having made his debut in 1998.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson's 15th World Matchplay appearance will see the 2018 champion on the ProTour side of the draw - meaning that he could see himself up against the likes of Smith, Van Gerwen or Scottish World Cup team-mate Wright in round one!

The World Matchplay will be held from July 15-23, while the final day of action in Blackpool also features the Women's World Matchplay in Sunday's afternoon session as eight players, headed by 1/2 favourite beau Greaves, compete in the second staging of that event.

2023 Betfred World Matchplay:

PDC Order of Merit Top 16 
(Seeded for first round draw)

1 Michael Smith
2 Peter Wright
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 Gerwyn Price
5 Rob Cross
6 Luke Humphries
7 Jonny Clayton
8 Danny Noppert
9 Nathan Aspinall
10 Dimitri Van den Bergh
11 Dirk van Duijvenbode
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Joe Cullen
14 Damon Heta
15 Ryan Searle
16 James Wade

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers:

Josh Rock
Martin Schindler
Ross Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski
Jose de Sousa
Andrew Gilding
Gary Anderson
Stephen Bunting
Gabriel Clemens
Chris Dobey
Raymond van Barneveld
Daryl Gurney
Mike De Decker
Steve Beaton
Brendan Dolan
Kim Huybrechts

View the latest World Matchplay odds

All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.