There are plenty of excellent dart competitions, but in terms of all-out fun, it's hard to look past the PDC World Darts Championship. The tournament has two big pluses in its corner. First, it takes place at Alexandra Palace, the spiritual home of darts. Second, it takes place over the festive period, which ensures there's also a top atmosphere — and plenty of viewers, too.
With the tournament just a couple of months away, we thought it'd be a good idea to put together a preview of the championship, including the details, how to attend, and which dart players might just have their eyes on the top prize.
The championship will take place from December 15 through to January 3 at Alexandra Palace in North London. Always a big occasion, this one promises to be a little extra special since it's the 30th edition of the tournament, which first got underway in 1992 following the Professional Darts Corporation's breakaway from the BDC. There have been plenty of historical moments in this event's history, and this year is shaping up to offer more of the same.
One of the most exciting aspects of the PDC World Darts Championship is that there is always a surprise or two. In-form players blow it in front of a large audience; relative outsiders hit some form and take themselves all the way to the final. So it's anyone's game.
So far, experts are predicting a strong performance from Michael van Gerwen, who is the current favourite for the championship. Gerwyn Price has also been in good form and will privately be dreaming of taking home the top cash prize.
Last year's winner Peter Wright could be a surprise victor, too. He's behind van Gerwen, Price, and a couple of others in the leaders' list, but his excellent performance at the tournament last year could be a prompt for some to use one of the free bets offered by sportsbooks such as FanDuel to back the colourful Scotsman to triumph again. He's had a good run of form recently, so he'll be going into the championship with confidence.
If you're hoping to attend the championship, then you'd better be fast. This is one of the most popular events on the circuit, and tickets go quickly. Priced around £50 for a table seat, there are plenty of days of action, so you should be able to get a ticket for at least one of the days. Having a degree of flexibility with your attendance date can be useful.
If general tickets are sold out for your preferred day, take a look at hospitality tickets, which tend to sell more slowly than regular tickets. You may also be able to buy tickets from verified ticket reseller websites closer to the date since many people change their plans at the last minute.
If you're planning to attend the championship, then it's recommended to book your accommodation as soon as possible. It's arguably more important to book your hotel than your tickets — as even if you don't end up attending, you can always enjoy the buzzing atmosphere around Ally Pally.
The venue is well-served by London's public transportation system, but don't let that fool you into thinking that you can stay anywhere in the city. A hotel south of the river may be cheaper, but you'll spend a long time travelling each day. If you can't find a place within walking distance of the venue, look for anywhere in North/East London.
But don't worry if you can't attend in person. The PDC World Darts Championship is a festive favourite, so you'll find plenty of coverage on television. The action will be featured on Sky Darts from beginning to end. If you're looking to recreate some of the magic of Ally Pally, then invite your closest friends and settle in for an evening of all-out fun on television.