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PDC World Darts Champions and Qualification


PDC World Darts Champions and Qualification

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?


PDC Tour Card Holders

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.


International Players Qualification

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


Youth World Champion

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.


Fallon Sherrock Queen of the Palace



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.


Remaining Places

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.


2023 Winner Michael Smith, Best World Championship leg ever


Considered the best leg ever at the world darts champions, Michael Smith and Michael van Gerwen, were both on target to hit the perfect nine-dart finish




World Darts Championships

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.


PDC Past Winners







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






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