Premier League Darts
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Premier League Darts is a darts tournament which launched on 20 January 2005 on Sky Sports. The league is now played weekly from February to May, having originally started as a fortnightly fixture. The tournament originally featured seven players and now sees ten of the biggest names from the PDC circuit competing in a double round-robin format, with matches held across Europe at different venues. The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit are joined by six wildcard selections to make up the ten-man field. The current sponsor is Unibet.
|Country||United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany|
|Prize fund||£855,000 (2019)|
|Month(s) Played||February – May|
|Michael van Gerwen|
The previous sponsors were McCoy's, Whyte and Mackay, who succeeded Holsten, having signed a three-year contract to support the event in October 2007, and 888.com. The prize fund rose from £265,000 to £340,000 in 2008, steadily increasing each year for a prize fund of £855,000 in 2019. The winner currently receives £250,000.
Phil Taylor has dominated this event, winning six of the thirteen tournaments he appeared in. He went unbeaten throughout the first three seasons before James Wade ended his 44 match run in the first match of the 2008 season. A new champion was to be crowned after Mervyn King defeated him in the 2009 semi-finals. Wade defeated King 13–8 in the final, to pick up the £125,000 first prize. Phil Taylor defeated James Wade the following season to claim his fifth title in the competition in 2010; however, he was defeated in the semi-final of the 2011 tournament. Gary Anderson became champion in his début season by defeating Adrian Lewis in a repeat of the world championship final earlier that year. Phil Taylor reclaimed the title the following year, after defeating Simon Whitlock in the 2012 final, but lost the 2013 final to Michael van Gerwen. A year later, Taylor – who lost four of his first five games of the season and only secured qualification to the playoffs on the final league night – lost to eventual champion Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals.
The matches have been broadcast on Thursday nights on Sky Sports since the tournament inception. Originally the league alternated with Premier League Snooker one week and Premier League Darts the next. From 2006, the snooker moved to late autumn – giving the Premier League darts a straight weekly run in the spring.
American sports channel OLN aired the 2006 Premier League Darts season on a slight delay, in August 2006. In 2018 BBC America started airing Premier League Darts on Thursday nights. In 2020 BBC America started airing Premier League Darts on Sunday mornings.
German sports channel Sport1 broadcasts most matches live on TV and gives coverages of a selection of matches.
The tournament has had six title sponsors since it was formed in 2005. They are 888.com (2005, 2011), Holsten (2006–2007), Whyte and Mackay (2008–2010), McCoy's (2012–2013) and Betway (2014–2017). Unibet was the sixth when they took over for the 2018 tournament.
|Champion||Score||Runner-up||Best of||Venue||Prize-pool||Players||Venues||League winner|
|2005||Phil Taylor (101.01)||16–4||Colin Lloyd (97.20)||31 legs||G-Mex, Manchester||£150,000||7||11||Phil Taylor|
|2006||Phil Taylor (101.41)||16–6||Roland Scholten (92.01)||Plymouth Pavilions||£167,500|
|2007||Phil Taylor (99.20)||16–6||Terry Jenkins (90.81)||The Brighton Centre||£265,000||8||15|
|2008||Phil Taylor (108.36)||16–8||James Wade (100.14)||Cardiff International Arena||£340,000|
|2009||James Wade (90.38)||13–8||Mervyn King (85.83)||25 legs||Wembley Arena||£405,000|
|2010||Phil Taylor (111.67)||10–8||James Wade (100.08)||19 legs||£410,000|
|2011||Gary Anderson (94.67)||10–4||Adrian Lewis (85.75)|
|2012||Phil Taylor (97.08)||10–7||Simon Whitlock (95.32)||The O2 Arena, London||£450,000|
|2013||Michael van Gerwen (103.29)||10–8||Phil Taylor (104.10)||£520,000||10||Michael van Gerwen|
|2014||Raymond van Barneveld (101.93)||10–6||Michael van Gerwen (102.98)||£550,000||16|
|2015||Gary Anderson (104.85)||11–7||Michael van Gerwen (105.81)||21 legs||£700,000|
|2016||Michael van Gerwen (104.68)||11–3||Phil Taylor (98.84)||£725,000|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen (104.76)||11–10||Peter Wright (101.06)||£825,000|
|2018||Michael van Gerwen (112.37)||11–4||Michael Smith (97.01)||15[a]|
|2019||Michael van Gerwen (103.36)||11–5||Rob Cross (100.98)||9[b]||16|
|2020||Utilita Arena, Newcastle|
Records and statisticsEdit
- As of 10 March 2020.
Total finalist appearancesEdit
|2||Michael van Gerwen||Netherlands||5||2||7||7|
|5||Raymond van Barneveld||Netherlands||1||0||1||14|
- Active players are shown in bold
- Only players who reached the final are included
- In the event of identical records, players are sorted in alphabetical order by family name
Champions by countryEdit
|Country||Players||Total||First title||Last title|
Nine nine-dart finishes have been thrown in the Premier League. The first one was in 2006, and the most recent one was in 2020.
|Player||Year (+ Week)||Location||Method||Opponent||Result|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2006, Week 5||Bournemouth||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Peter Manley||8–3 (L)|
|Raymond van Barneveld||2010, Week 12||Aberdeen||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Terry Jenkins||8–6 (L)|
|Phil Taylor||2010, Final||London||T20, 2 x T19; 3 x T20; T20, T17, D18||James Wade||10–8 (L)|
|3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12|
|Phil Taylor||2012, Week 2||Aberdeen||3 x T20; T20, 2 x T19; T20, T17, D18||Kevin Painter||8–5 (L)|
|Simon Whitlock||2012, Semi-Final||London||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T15, D18||Andy Hamilton||8–6 (L)|
|Adrian Lewis||2016, Week 11||Belfast||3 x T20; 2 x T20, T19; 2 x T20, D12||James Wade||7–5 (L)|
|Adrian Lewis||2017, Week 11||Liverpool||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Raymond van Barneveld||7–4 (L)|
|Michael Smith||2020, Week 4||Dublin||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Daryl Gurney||7–5 (L)|
- Most titles: 6 – Phil Taylor
- Most tournament appearances: 14 – Raymond van Barneveld
- Most matches played: 211 – Raymond van Barneveld
- Longest unbeaten run: 44 matches – Phil Taylor (2005–2008)
- Biggest victories (league stage): 11–1 Phil Taylor v Wayne Mardle (2005), 11–1 Phil Taylor v Peter Manley (2005)
- Biggest victories (playoff stages): 16–4 Phil Taylor v Colin Lloyd (2005 final)
- Most 180's by one player in a single match: 11 – Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock (2011).
- Most 100+ averages in a season: 18 – Michael van Gerwen (2017). Van Gerwen became the first player to average over 100 in every match of a season.
- Highest match average: 123.40 – Michael van Gerwen (2016)
- Highest group stage overall average: 107.95 – Phil Taylor (2012)
- Highest average in the final: 112.37 – Michael van Gerwen (2018)
|0–8|| Colin Lloyd |
|8–0|| Wayne Mardle |
|8–0|| Simon Whitlock |
|0–7|| Michael van Gerwen |
|0–7|| Michael van Gerwen |
|0–7|| Dave Chisnall |
|0–7|| Phil Taylor |
|0–7|| Michael van Gerwen |
|2018||Raymond van Barneveld
|0–7|| Michael Smith |
|0–7|| James Wade |
|Ten highest Premier League one-match averages|
|Average||Player||Year (+ Round)||Opponent||Result|
|123.40||Michael van Gerwen||2016, Week 4||Michael Smith||7–1|
|119.50||Peter Wright||2017, Week 5||Adrian Lewis||7–2|
|117.95||Michael van Gerwen||2016, Week 10||Robert Thornton||7–5|
|117.35||Phil Taylor||2012, Week 4||Simon Whitlock||8–4|
|116.90||Michael van Gerwen||2015, Week 12||James Wade||7–0|
|116.67||Michael van Gerwen||2016, Week 5||Peter Wright||7–2|
|116.10||Phil Taylor||2012, Week 13||James Wade||8–1|
|116.01||Phil Taylor||2009, Week 12||John Part||8–3|
|115.80||Phil Taylor||2015, Week 7||Raymond van Barneveld||4–7|
|115.25||Phil Taylor||2016, Week 4||Dave Chisnall||7–5|
|Five highest tournament averages|
|107.48||Michael van Gerwen||2016|
|105.26||Michael van Gerwen||2015|
|104.68||Michael van Gerwen||2017|
|104.11||Michael van Gerwen||2018|
Since the tournament made its debut in 2005, Phil Taylor made an appearance in every Premier League competition until his retirement following the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship. Raymond van Barneveld has competed in every Premier League since joining the PDC in 2006. From 2005 until the 2010 tournament, the top six players in the PDC Order of Merit after the PDC World Darts Championship automatically qualified, with one wildcard (2005 and 2006) and two wildcards (2007–2010) chosen by either the PDC or Sky Sports. From the 2011 tournament, only the top four in the PDC Order of Merit automatically qualified, with four wildcards (2011 and 2012) chosen by both the PDC and Sky Sports. In 2013, the tournament grew from eight players to ten, with the top four players in the PDC Order of Merit automatically qualifying and six other players chosen as Wildcards on the basis of their performance in the past year or in earlier editions of the Premier League.
Premier League players and performanceEdit
|Colin Lloyd||3||RU||SF||5||Did not play|
|Peter Manley||4||SF||6||6||6||Did not play|
|Roland Scholten||3||SF||RU||8||Did not play|
|Mark Dudbridge||1||5||Did not play|
|John Part||3||6||DNP||8||6||Did not play|
|Wayne Mardle||4||7||7||DNP||5||WD||Did not play|
|Raymond van Barneveld||14||DNP||SF||SF||SF||SF||6||SF||5||SF||W||SF||7||6||6||9||DNP|
|Ronnie Baxter||2||DNP||5||Did not play||5||Did not play|
|Terry Jenkins||5||DNP||RU||7||5||8||7||Did not play|
|Dennis Priestley||1||DNP||SF||DNP||C||Did not play|
|Adrian Lewis||10||DNP||7||SF||C||7||RU||6||8||6||6||SF||8||Did not play|
|James Wade||10||Did not play||RU||W||RU||5||SF||SF||DNP||7||6||7||DNP||SF||DNP|
|Mervyn King||2||Did not play||RU||SF||Did not play|
|Jelle Klaasen||2||Did not play||7||Did not play||9||Did not play|
|Simon Whitlock||6||Did not play||SF||6||RU||6||10||Did not play||8||DNP|
|Gary Anderson||8||Did not play||C||DNP||W||8||10||SF||W||SF||SF||SF||DNP||–|
|Mark Webster||1||Did not play||C||DNP||8||Did not play|
|Andy Hamilton||2||Did not play||SF||7||Did not play|
|Kevin Painter||1||Did not play||7||Did not play|
|Michael van Gerwen||8||Did not play||W||RU||RU||W||W||W||W||–|
|Robert Thornton||3||Did not play||C||Did not play||5||8||DNP||8||Did not play|
|Wes Newton||2||Did not play||9||9||Did not play|
|Dave Chisnall||4||Did not play||7||SF||9||5||DNP|
|Stephen Bunting||1||Did not play||8||Did not play||C|
|Kim Huybrechts||2||Did not play||10||DNP||10||DNP|
|Michael Smith||4||Did not play||10||DNP||RU||7||–|
|Rob Cross||3||Did not play||SF||RU||–|
|Daryl Gurney||3||Did not play||5||SF||–|
|Mensur Suljović||2||Did not play||9||6||DNP|
|Gerwyn Price||3||Did not play||10||5||–|
|Nathan Aspinall||1||Did not play||C||–|
|Glen Durrant||1||Did not play||C||–|
|W||Won in playoffs||RU||Runner-up||SF||Lost in the semi-finals||#||Place in table, not qualified for playoffs|
|#||Place in table, relegated||WD||Withdrew during tournament||C||Challenger||DNP||Did not play at that year|
When Gary Anderson withdrew from the 2019 season just before it began, Chris Dobey, Glen Durrant, Steve Lennon, Luke Humphries, John Henderson, Nathan Aspinall, Max Hopp, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jeffrey de Zwaan were named as "contenders" to play in Anderson's place each of the first eight weeks. This format was extended – this time as part of the original schedule – to the 2020 season, with 9 regular players and 9 challengers. John Henderson, Fallon Sherrock, Jonny Clayton, William O'Connor, Luke Humphries, Stephen Bunting, Chris Dobey, Jeffrey de Zwaan and Jermaine Wattimena were the challengers.
- Whyte & Mackay to sponsor Premier League Archived 3 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine planetdarts.tv
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "888.com Premier League Darts – Night 11". PDC. 22 April 2011. Archived from the original on 23 December 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "2019 Unibet Premier League Field Announced". Sky Sports. B Sky B. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
- Phillips, Josh. "Premier League 'Contenders' To Replace Injured Anderson". PDC. Retrieved 4 February 2019.