Michael van Gerwen will kick off the defence of his World Grand Prix title with a cracking first round tie against Josh Rock.

That clash is a repeat of the second round contest at the 2022 Grand Slam of Darts, when Rock famously hit a nine darter against the Dutchman in the second leg.

The Green Machine will be looking for his seventh victory in the Grand Prix, after beating Nathan Aspinall 5-3 in the 2022 final. He also beat the same opponent earlier in September to win the most recent TV title at the World Series of Darts Finals.

Speaking of The Asp, last year’s runner up and current World Matchplay champion takes on Stephen Bunting.

The unique event, where players must start and finish on double, takes place at the Morningside Arena in Leicester for the third straight year from Monday 2 – Sunday 8 October 2023. It’s also only one of two events with the set play format, the other being the World Darts Championship.

Elsewhere, other standout first round ties include:

  • 2021 champion Jonny Clayton taking on Ross Smith
  • World number one and world champion Michael Smith playing Callan Rydz
  • UK Open winner Andrew Gilding facing Rob Cross

Round One will be played across Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 October, with eight ties on each night. The full schedule will be released by the PDC in due course.

Michael van Gerwen holding the World Grand Prix trophy
Michael van Gerwen will be looking to hold onto the World Grand Prix trophy for the fifth time in eight years. Credit: PDC

2023 World Grand Prix Draw

(1) Michael Smith v Callan Rydz
Dirk van Duijvenbode v Brendan Dolan
(8) Rob Cross v Andrew Gilding
Jose de Sousa v Gary Anderson
(4) Gerwyn Price v Danny Noppert
Krzysztof Ratajski v James Wade
(5) Nathan Aspinall v Stephen Bunting
Martin Schindler v Raymond van Barneveld
(2) Michael van Gerwen v Josh Rock
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Chris Dobey
(7) Jonny Clayton v Ross Smith
Joe Cullen v Mike de Decker
(3) Peter Wright v Gabriel Clemens
Damon Heta v Ryan Searle
(6) Luke Humphries v Daryl Gurney
Dave Chisnall v Luke Woodhouse

World Grand Prix Format

Round One – best of three sets (first to two)

Round Two – best of five sets (first to three)

Quarter Finals – best of five sets (first to three)

Semi Finals – best of seven sets (first to four)

Final – best of nine sets (first to five)

Prize Money

Winner – £120,000

Runner Up – £60,000

Semi Finalists – £40,000

Quarter Finalists – £25,000

Round Two losers – £15,000

Round One losers – £7,500