| William Hill |
World Darts Championship
|Venue|| Circus Tavern (1994–2007)|
Alexandra Palace (since 2008)
|Location|| Purfleet (1994–2007)|
London (since 2008)
|Prize fund||£2,500,000 (2019)|
The PDC World Darts Championship, known for sponsorship purposes as the William Hill World Darts Championship, organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), is one of the two separate World Professional Darts Championships held annually in the sport of darts. The other is the BDO World Darts Championship organised by the British Darts Organisation (BDO). The PDC championship begins in December and ends in January and is held at Alexandra Palace in London. It is the highest profile of the PDC's tournaments, with the winner receiving the Sid Waddell Trophy, named in honour of the darts commentator Sid Waddell, who died in 2012.
The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is a professional darts organisation in the United Kingdom, established in 1992 when a group of leading players split from the British Darts Organisation to form what was initially called the World Darts Council (WDC). Sports promoter Barry Hearn is the PDC chairman.
The World Professional Darts Championship is one of the most important tournaments in the darts calendar. Originally held as an annual event between 1978 and 1993, players then broke off into two separate organisations after a controversial split in the game. Each organisation, the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) now organise their own World Championship in January. As a result, there is no longer a unified world champion in the sport.
Darts is a sport in which small missiles are thrown at a circular target ("dartboard") fixed to a wall. Though various boards and rules have been used in the past, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules. As well as being a professional competitive game, darts is a traditional pub game, commonly played in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, across the Commonwealth, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, the United States, Australia and elsewhere.
The PDC championship began in 1994 as the WDC World Darts Championship as one of the consequences of the split in darts, which saw the World Darts Council break away from the BDO. As a result of the settlement between the BDO and the WDC in 1997, the WDC became the PDC, and players are now free to choose which world championship to enter (but not both in the same year), as long as they meet certain eligibility criteria.
The split in darts refers to an acrimonious dispute between top professional darts players and the game's governing body, the British Darts Organisation (BDO), in 1993. The players were discontented by the game's big decline in television coverage in 1989 and the early 1990s, and by what they saw as the BDO's inability to reverse that decline, culminating in 16 top ranked players, including every previous world champion who was still active, breaking away from the BDO to form their own organisation, the World Darts Council (WDC).
The current PDC champion is Michael van Gerwen. With 14 wins from 25 appearances, Phil Taylor has dominated the competition, last winning it in 2013. Other than Taylor, there have been seven other champions. The other players to win it more than once are Michael van Gerwen (2014, 2017 & 2019), John Part (2003 & 2008), Adrian Lewis (2011 & 2012) and Gary Anderson (2015 & 2016) . The one-time winners are the inaugural champion Dennis Priestley, the Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld (2007), and Rob Cross (2018).
Michael van Gerwen is a Dutch professional darts player. He is currently ranked number one in the world, having won the PDC World Darts Championship in 2014, 2017, and 2019. He began playing darts at the age of 13. He won the 2006 World Masters and threw a televised nine-dart finish at the 2007 Masters of Darts, becoming the youngest player to do either at age 17. However, after this initial burst onto the darting scene, van Gerwen struggled for consistent form until his breakthrough year in 2012. Improving from world number 38 at the start of 2012 to number four at the beginning of 2013, he won his first major PDC title at the Grand Prix and reached the final at the 2013 World Championship. In 2014, at the age of 24, Van Gerwen became the youngest winner of the PDC World Championship.
Philip Douglas Taylor is an English retired professional darts player, nicknamed The Power. He is widely regarded as the greatest darts player of all time, having won 214 professional tournaments, including 85 major titles and a record 16 World Championships. He won eight consecutive World Championships from 1995 to 2002 and reached 14 consecutive finals from 1994 to 2007.
John Part is a Canadian professional darts player and commentator, nicknamed Darth Maple. Part is a three-times World Champion, having won the 1994 BDO World Darts Championship, and the PDC World Championship in 2003 and 2008. He is statistically North America's greatest darts player to date. He has the distinction of being the first non-UK player to win the World Championship, and the only non-European to date to win the PDC World Darts Championship. His first Championship was the second time a non-seeded player won the BDO World Darts Championship, and one of the few times where a player only lost one set in the entire tournament. His nine year gap between his first and second World Championships is tied with Ted Hankey for the longest gap between World Championships, and his third triumph in 2008 saw him become the first player in history to win a world title in three different venues, and the first to win at the Alexandra Palace. His 2008 win saw him join Phil Taylor, Eric Bristow, Raymond van Barneveld and John Lowe as the only players with three or more World Championships, and become only the second player to win multiple PDC titles. His eleven televised PDC finals is tied with Dennis Priestley for the eighth most all time, and his £874,151 in prize money to date is the sixteenth highest amount in PDC history.
In 1992, some high-profile players, including all previous winners of the BDO World Darts Championship still active in the game, formed the WDC (now PDC), and in 1994, held their first World Championship. Dennis Priestley won the inaugural competition.
The BDO World Darts Championship is a world championship competition in darts, organised by the British Darts Organisation (BDO). It began in 1978, and was, alongside the World Darts Federation's World Cup of Darts, one of two world championship tournaments until 1993. Since 1994, following a dispute with the BDO and the subsequent fallout, a breakaway group stages its own annual PDC World Championship, generally before the BDO version in late December and early January of each year.
Dennis Priestley is a retired English professional darts player. He has won two world championships, and was the first player to win both the BDO and WDC world championships, in 1991 and 1994 respectively. He is nicknamed "The Menace", after the cartoon character Dennis the Menace, and reflects this by wearing red and black, and using red and black flights.
The players who broke away were taking a significant gamble - the tournament was broadcast on satellite television rather than terrestrial, and from 1994 to 2001, the prize fund for the players in the WDC/PDC World Championship was lower than the prize fund in the BDO version, although the 1997 PDC World Champion received £45,000 compared to that year's BDO World Champion receiving £38,000. In 2002, the PDC prize fund overtook that of the BDO for the first time, and the PDC event now boasts the largest prize fund of any darts competition. In 2010, the prize fund reached £1 million for the first time, with the World Champion collecting £200,000.
The 2014 and 2015 PDC World Champions collected £250,000 for their respective wins. In 2018, the prize fund will be increased to £1.8 million, with the World Champion receiving £400,000.
The PDC World Darts Championship has been held at Alexandra Palace in London since 2008, having previously been held at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex, from 1994 to 2007.
Alexandra Palace is a Grade II listed entertainment and sports venue in London, located between Muswell Hill and Wood Green. It is built on the site of Tottenham Wood and the later Tottenham Wood Farm. Originally built by John Johnson and Alfred Meeson, it opened in 1873 but following a fire two weeks after its opening, was rebuilt by Johnson. Intended as "The People's Palace" and referred to as "Ally Pally", its purpose was to serve as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment; North London's counterpart to the Crystal Palace in South London.
London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
The Circus Tavern is an entertainment venue in Purfleet, Essex, England which hosts functions, cabaret acts and is also a nightclub venue. However, it is most famous as having been a long-time venue of the PDC World Darts Championship.
|Year||Champion (average in final)||T.||Score||Runner-up (average in final)||Prize money||Sponsor||Venue|
|1994||1st||6–1||£64,000||£16,000||£8,000||Skol|| Circus Tavern,|
|2008||2nd||7–2||£589,000|| Alexandra Palace,|
|2||Michael van Gerwen||3||1||4||12|
|7||Raymond van Barneveld||1||1||2||13|
Nine nine-darters have been thrown at the World Championship. The first one was in 2009.
|Player||Year (+ Round)||Method||Opponent||Result|
|2009, Quarter-Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Won|
|2010, 2nd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Won|
|2011, Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Won|
|2013, 2nd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Lost|
|2013, Semi-Final||3 x T20; 2 x T20, T19; 2 x T20, D12||Won|
|2014, 1st Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Lost|
|2014, 1st Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Lost|
|2015, 3rd Round||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Lost|
|2016, Semi-Final||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||Won|
Since the breakaway of the PDC players, there has been much debate about the relative merits of the players within each organisation. The debate often focuses on the three-dart averages of players in matches.
An average over 100 in a match in the PDC World Championship has since been achieved 195 times.This is compared to 21 times in the BDO World Championship, following the 2019 event. In 2010 Phil Taylor became the first player to average over 100 in all six rounds of the tournament. He repeated this feat (though lost the final) in 2015 and Michael van Gerwen achieved it in 2017 and 2019.
An average of over 105 in a match in the PDC World Championship has been achieved 40 times. The highest match average ever in the BDO World Championship is 103.83 by Raymond van Barneveld in his quarter-final victory over John Walton in 2004.
|Ten highest PDC World Championship one-match averages|
|111.21||2002, 2nd Round||6–1|
|109.23||2016, 2nd Round||4–0|
|109.00||2007, 2nd Round||4–1|
|108.65||2018, 2nd Round||4–0|
|108.39||2011, 3rd Round||4–0|
|108.31||2013, 1st Round||3–0|
|Five highest losing averages|
|106.09||2019, 2nd Round||1–3|
|106.07||2017, 2nd Round||2–4|
|105.78||2016, 3rd Round||3–4|
|Five highest combined match averages|
|2017, 2nd Round|
|2007, 2nd Round|
|Different players with a 100+ match average|
|Player||Total||Highest Av.||Year (+Round)|
|56||111.21||2002, 2nd Round|
|20||108.39||2011, 3rd Round|
|15||106.51||2010, 1st Round|
|10||105.07||2014, 3rd Round|
|3||102.54||2016, 1st Round|
|2||107.27||2018, 2nd Round|
|2||104.45||2019, 2nd Round|
|2||102.64||2012, 3rd Round|
|2||100.51||2018, 1st Round|
|1||106.09||2019, 2nd Round|
|1||106.07||2017, 2nd Round|
|1||104.64||2017, 2nd Round|
|1||103.38||2001, 1st Round|
|1||103.26||2019, 2nd Round|
|1||102.42||2010, 3rd Round|
|1||102.34||2015, 3rd Round|
|1||102.30||2017, 3rd Round|
|1||101.82||2007, 2nd Round|
|1||101.55||2018, 1st Round|
|1||101.17||2018, 2nd Round|
|1||100.88||2017, 1st Round|
|1||100.83||2019, 4th Round|
|1||100.23||2018, 1st Round|
|Ten highest tournament averages|
The PDC World Championship has been broadcast live and in its entirety by Sky Sports in the UK since its inception. Since 2009 the tournament has been shot in High Definition (HD). Their coverage is currently presented from a studio overlooking the interior of the Alexandra Palace venue.
The current presenting team is as follows:
Former presenters and commentators have been:
Dutch broadcaster SBS6, having covered the BDO World Darts Championship for many years, also covered the event until RTL7 took over broadcasting. Fox Sports (Australia), BBC America (USA), TSN (Canada), SuperSport (South Africa), Sky Sport (New Zealand), StarHub (Singapore), Ten Sports (India), CCTV (China), Showtime (Middle East), Ukraine TV, IKO (Poland), NOVA Sport (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Sport1 (Hungary), Meersat (Malaysia), 7TV (Russia), Measat (Indonesia), J Sports (Japan), DAZN (Italy), GOL TV (Spain) Eurosport (Romania) now also broadcast the event.
Television viewing figures for the final are as follows:
|Sky UK||Netherlands||Germany SPORT1|
|2018||1,400,000||864,000 (RTL 7)||2,700,000|
|2017||607,000||2,170,000 (RTL 7)||1,480,000|
|2016||908,000||869,000 (RTL 7)||950,000|
|2015||1.5 million peak||908,000 (RTL 7)||1,360,000|
|2014||668,000||2,054,000 (RTL 7)||560,000|
|2013||1,270,000||1,748,000 (RTL 7)||810,000|
|2012||728,000||762,000 (RTL 7)|
|2008||731,000||211,000 (compilation SBS6)||340,000|
The PDC world championship events are now broadcast on www.livepdc.tv which shows the events live, highlights and also classic matches. This website is a subscription only viewing and is limited to certain territorial restrictions.
The tournament has been sponsored by bookmaker William Hill since 2015. Previous sponsors have been:
Following popular darts commentator Sid Waddell's death on 11 August 2012, the decision was made to rename the champion's trophy to the Sid Waddell trophy from the 2013 tournament onwards.
A nine-dart finish is a perfect leg in the sport of darts, using only nine darts, the fewest possible, to check out from 501. It is notoriously difficult to achieve, even for the game's top professionals. It is considered to be the highest single-game achievement in the sport, similar to a maximum 147 break in snooker or a 300-point game in bowling.
The British Darts Organisation (BDO) is a darts organisation founded on 7 January 1973 by Olly Croft. The BDO is a founder member of the World Darts Federation which was formed in 1976. The BDO is made up of 66 member counties in Britain and organises tournaments for professionals and amateurs.
Paul Lim Leong Hwa known simply as Paul Lim is a Singaporean professional darts player. He was the first player to hit a perfect 9-dart finish during the Embassy World Darts Championship, which he achieved in 1990 during his second round match against Jack McKenna. Lim won £52,000 for his 9-darter, which was £28,000 more than Phil Taylor won for winning the tournament. John Lowe achieved the first 9-dart finish on television in a match against Keith Deller at the 1984 World Matchplay, for which Lowe won £102,000. Lim's 9-darter remained the only 9-dart game to have been achieved in either version of the world championships, until Raymond van Barneveld hit one against Jelle Klaasen in the quarter-final of the 2009 PDC World Darts Championship. To date, it remains the only 9-dart finish ever achieved at the BDO World Darts Championship.
The 1993 Embassy World Darts Championship was the 16th staging of the competition, and it turned out to be the last time that the sport had a unified World Championship. In 1994 following a breakaway the PDC staged its own World Championship for the first time.
Simon Whitlock is an Australian professional darts player who plays in Professional Darts Corporation tournaments, having also played in the British Darts Organisation between 2004-2009. He uses the nickname The Wizard for his matches. His walk-on music is "Down Under" by Men At Work.
The 2013 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship was the 20th World Championship organised by the Professional Darts Corporation since it separated from the British Darts Organisation. The event took place at the Alexandra Palace, London between 14 December 2012 and 1 January 2013.
The 2017 William Hill World Darts Championship was the 24th World Championship organised by the Professional Darts Corporation since it separated from the British Darts Organisation. The event took place at Alexandra Palace in London from 15 December 2016 to 2 January 2017.
The three dart average in darts is the average score achieved with three darts thrown. Averages are the most cited statistics in matches as they give a rough estimate how well the player played. The longer the game last, the harder it is to maintain a high average as low scoring legs or missed darts at a double bring the average down.
The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters was the fifth staging of the tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation. It was the first World Series of Darts event of 2017. The tournament featured eight of the top players according to the PDC Order of Merit, competing in a knockout system. The tournament was be held at the Dubai Tennis Centre in Dubai over 24–25 May 2017.
Robert Cross is an English professional darts player who plays in Professional Darts Corporation events, and was the 2018 PDC World Darts Champion, following his victory over Phil Taylor. Cross won the World Championship on his debut, having turned professional just 11 months prior to the event. He is currently ranked No 2 on the PDC world rankings.
The 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy was the fifth of twelve PDC European Tour events on the 2017 PDC Pro Tour. The tournament took place at Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar from 12–14 May 2017. It featured a field of 48 players and £135,000 in prize money, with £25,000 going to the winner.
The 2017 Austrian Darts Open was the seventh of twelve PDC European Tour events on the 2017 PDC Pro Tour. The tournament took place at Multiversum Schwechat, Vienna, Austria between 23–25 June 2017. It featured a field of 48 players and £135,000 in prize money, with £25,000 going to the winner.
Willem Mandigers is a Dutch darts player who competes in British Darts Organisation events.