Michael Smith will start the defence of his PDC World Darts Championship against either Kevin Doets or Stowe Buntz.

The world number one, who won his maiden Sid Waddell Trophy last year, is expected to headline the opening night of Friday 15 December. The first round match between Doets and Buntz will be the opening match of the tournament, with the winner to face The Bully Boy later in the evening.

The man who Smith beat in the final last year, three time World Champion Michael van Gerwen, will get his quest for a first World title since 2019 underway against the winner of Keane Barry and Reynaldo Rivera.

Lee Evans and Sandro Eric Sosing will play against each other in round one, with the winner playing world number three Luke Humphries. Humphries is the favourite to win the title currently with title sponsors PaddyPower, having won three of the last four TV titles including the Players Championship Finals last weekend.

Elsewhere, stand out ties include:

  • Connor Scutt v Krzysztof Kciuk with the winner taking on 2021 champion Gerwyn Price
  • Two time World Champion Peter Wright playing either Jim Williams or Norman Madhoo
  • Simon Whitlock facing Paolo Nebrida for the right to play Gary Anderson
  • Winmau World Youth Champion Luke Littler taking on Christian Kist. The winner faces Andrew Gilding in round two
  • Fallon Sherrock facing Jermaine Wattimena, with the winner taking on Martin Schindler
Michael Smith celebrates with the World Darts Championship trophy.
Michael Smith will be looking for back to back PDC World Darts Championship wins. Credit: PDC

2023/24 PDC World Darts Championship Draw

Section One

(1) Michael Smith v Kevin Doets / Stowe Buntz

(32) Madars Razma v Mike De Decker / Dragutin Horvat

(16) Ross Smith v Niels Zonneveld / Darren Webster

(17) Chris Dobey v William O’Connor / Bhav Patel

(8) Rob Cross v Mario Vandenbogaerde / Thibault Tricole

(25) Jose de Sousa v Richie Edhouse / Jeffrey De Graaf

(9) Jonny Clayton v Steve Lennon / Owen Bates

(24) Krzysztof Ratajski v Jamie Hughes / David Cameron

Section Two

(4) Peter Wright v Jim Williams / Norman Madhoo

(29) Raymond van Barneveld v Radek Szaganski / Marko Kantele

(13) James Wade v Matt Campbell / Lourence Ilagan

(20) Andrew Gilding v Christian Kist / Luke Littler

(5) Gerwyn Price v Connor Scutt / Krzysztof Kciuk

(28) Brendan Dolan v Mickey Mansell / Xiaochen Zong

(12) Dirk van Duijvenbode v Keegan Brown / Boris Krcmar

(21) Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock / Paolo Nebrida

Section Three

(2) Michael van Gerwen v Keane Barry / Reynaldo Rivera

(31) Kim Huybrechts v Richard Veenstra / Ben Robb

(15) Dimitri van den Bergh v Dylan Slevin / Florian Hempel

(18) Stephen Bunting v Ryan Joyce / Alex Spellman

(7) Danny Noppert v Scott Williams / Haruki Muramatsu

(26) Martin Schindler v Jermaine Wattimena / Fallon Sherrock

(10) Damon Heta v Martin Lukeman / Haupai Puha

(23) Josh Rock v Luke Woodhouse / Berry Van Peer

Section Four

(3) Luke Humphries v Lee Evans / Sandro Eric Sosing

(30) Callan Rydz v Ricardo Pietreczko / Mikuru Suzuki

(14) Joe Cullen v Jules van Dongen / Darren Penhall

(19) Ryan Searle v Ian White / Tomoya Goto

(6) Nathan Aspinall v Ricky Evans / Simon Adams

(27) Daryl Gurney v Steve Beaton / Wessel Nijman

(11) Dave Chisnall v Cameron Menzies / Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

(22) Gabriel Clemens v Gian Van Veen / Man Lok Leung

How does the World Darts Championship draw work?

The draw for the 2023/24 PDC World Darts Championship sees the top 32 players on the PDC Order of Merit qualify for round two automatically. They make up the 32 seeds for the event.

The top 32 players on the Pro Tour Order of Merit, who are not already on the main Order of Merit, qualify for round one, as do 32 international qualifiers. The Pro Tour players and the qualifiers play each other to take on a seed in round two.

The seeded player then faces the winner of a round one game. Whoever wins that moves onto round three, where 32 players remain. If all the seeds qualify, then it would be 1 v 32, 2 v 31, and so on.

The first semi final will be the winner of section one v winner of section two. The winners of sections three and four will play in the other semi final.

The two semi final winners will play in the final, with the victor being crowned the World Darts Champion.

What’s the schedule?

The schedule will be confirmed in due course, but the event will take place from Friday 15 December 2023 – Wednesday 3 January 2024.

What’s the prize money?

Once again, there will be £2.5 million in prize money up for grabs. Here’s how it’s broken down:

Winner – £500,000

Runner Up – £200,000

Semi Finals – £100,000

Quarter Finals – £50,000

Fourth Round – £35,000

Third Round – £25,000

Second Round – £15,000

First Round – £7,500