The biggest party for darts fans has to be the PDC World Darts Championship. The tournament boasts the greatest prize money of any darts event. Winning, generally, will catapult a player up the ranking and in the case of the 2023 Winning Michael' Bully Boy' Smith, it meant the No.1 spot in the PDC's Order of Merit.
With £500,000 going to the PDC darts world championship winner, it is easy to see why many young men and women are taking to the sport. The PDC World Darts Championship has a total prize fund of £2.5M showing that darts is genuinely a sport with merit.
To qualify for the biggest event of them all, you need to be good, and there are several ways players book their spot.
Thousands of players enter qualifying events while others book their space by ranking in the PDC Players Order of Merit, based on a two-year rolling prize money won.
In 2022, 96 players featured in the PDC World Championships, but how did they qualify?
Of the 128 PDC Tour Chard Holders, the top 64 players, by order of merit, are automatically invited. The top 32 are ranked 1-32 and are seeded based on their PDC Order of Merit placing in December, just before the World Darts Championship. By virtue of being seeded, the players enter the event in the second round.
Since the World Darts Championships is truly a World Class Darts event, players can qualify by entering the home nation qualification process. These events are staged at various times leading up to the World Championships
Being a youth world champion in the PDC also gives the player automatic entry into the PDC World Darts Championships. There has always been a bit of discussion as regards youth. The PDC see it as a player under 24 years. However, some may say this is too old to be considered a youth.
The World Darts Federation (WDF) stage its own World Championships and World Youth Championships following the demise of the British Darts Organisation (BDO). The WDF sees youth as a player, not over the age of 18 years.
Although it has been known for women to claim international spots to play for their Country in the PDC World Cup of Darts, few have played in the PDC World Darts Championships. Until a few years ago, women in this event were unheard of. The PDC then invited the current BDO World Champion and World Matchplay Champion / the top two of the BDO to play. When the BDO ceased, the PDC arranged qualification events, with the top two gaining entry to the World Finals. Today it is a bit more organised, and places are up for grabs for the top women who feature in the PDC Women's series of events. In 2002, the PDC extended their offer by including the Winner of the Women's World Matchplay.
Women's darts have come a long way. Fallon Sherrock famously won two rounds at the PDC World Darts Champions in December 2019, beating Ted Evetts in the first round and then the 11th seed Mensur Suljović in the second, which gave the women's game a well-needed boost.
For those who hold a tour card by have not gained an automatic qualification, there is always the last chance qualification via knockout. The number of spaces can vary, but it is always highly competitive.
Unlike most Dart events, the World Darts Championships is played in a set format. A best of five legs wins a set. The first rounds are the best of five sets, which steadily increases to the final, played over the best of thirteen sets.
The set format suits some players better than others, and it can mean a loser can win more legs than the Winner but lose out because they can't win the set-winning double.
The World Darts Championship is staged over the Christmas period. Starting in December and over two weeks, the climax is held in January, allowing for the new World Champion's reign to cover all year.
|2023||Michael Smith||7||-||4||Michael van Gerwen|
|2022||Peter Wright||7||-||5||Michael Smith|
|2021||Gerwyn Price||7||-||3||Gary Anderson|
|2020||Peter Wright||7||-||3||Michael van Gerwen|
|2019||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||3||Michael Smith|
|2018||Rob Cross||7||-||2||Phil Taylor|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||3||Gary Anderson|
|2016||Gary Anderson||7||-||5||Adrian Lewis|
|2015||Gary Anderson||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||5||Peter Wright|
|2013||Phil Taylor||7||-||4||Michael van Gerwen|
|2012||Adrian Lewis||7||-||3||Andy Hamilton|
|2011||Adrian Lewis||7||-||5||Gary Anderson|
|2010||Phil Taylor||7||-||3||Simon Whitlock|
|2009||Phil Taylor||7||-||1||Raymond van Barneveld|
|2008||John Part||7||-||2||Kirk Shepherd|
|2007||Raymond Van Barneveld||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2006||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||Peter Manley|
|2005||Phil Taylor||7||-||4||Mark Dudbridge|
|2004||Phil Taylor||7||-||6||Kevin Painter|
|2003||John Part||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2002||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||Peter Manley|
|2001||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||John Part|
|2000||Phil Taylor||7||-||3||Dennis Priestley|
|1999||Phil Taylor||6||-||2||Peter Manley|
|1998||Phil Taylor||6||-||0||Dennis Priestley|
|1997||Phil Taylor||6||-||3||Dennis Priestley|
|1996||Phil Taylor||6||-||4||Dennis Priestley|
|1995||Phil Taylor||6||-||2||Rod Harrington|
|1994||Dennis Priestley||6||-||1||Phil Taylor|