Grand Slam of Darts
The PDC Grand Slam of Darts is the only cross-code tournament on the calendar, making it one of the most anticipated as it brings both sets of fans together. It’s the closest thing we have to a united darts since the split in the 90s.
The Grand Slam of Darts is a ranking darts tournament organised by the PDC, but also featuring invitations to some of the top players from their rival organisation, the BDO. The competition takes place in November each year, having first taken place back in 2007 in Wolverhampton, which remains the host city.
Civic Hall was the original venue selected for the Grand Slam, with all editions of the tournament taking place there from 2008 to 2017, but Aldersley Leisure Village has been the host from 2018 onwards. In 2008, the PDC invited BDO Ladies’ champion Anastasia Dobromyslova to compete in the tournament, with the Russian being the first woman to compete in the Grand Slam of Darts.
15 PDC players qualify for the Grand Slam of Darts from their performances in PDC ranking events throughout the season, while those who don’t qualify through their performance can compete in a PDC Qualifying Event that hands out a further eight places. One player qualifies via the European Tour, with the BDO receiving a further eight invitations to make up the 32 player pool. The eight highest-ranked PDC players are seeded and placed into Pool A to keep them separated.
The Grand Slam of Darts begins with a group stage featuring eight groups of four players, with each player facing each other once. Players receive two points per victory from their best of nine leg games and the two players with the most points per group will progress to the knockout round. If two or more players are level on points, their plus/minus record on the number of legs won and lost will decide who goes through.
The remainder of the tournament is a straight knockout, with a total of four rounds needed to be won in order to be crowned Grand Slam champion. The number of legs required to win in each round increases as the tournament progresses in the following increments:
- Second Round – Best of 19 Legs
- Quarter-Finals – Best of 31 Legs
- Semi-Finals – Best of 31 Legs
- Final – Best of 31 Legs
As we have come to expect from many PDC ranking tournaments, Phil Taylor has the most victories to his name at this moment in time. Taylor won six Grand Slam of Darts titles during his illustrious career, reaching the final a total of seven times from his 11 appearances. Michael van Gerwen is next on the list with three Grand Slam victories to his name, all of which came in successive years from 2015 to 2017.
However, Gerwyn Price has been the dominant player of the Grand Slam in recent years, winning each of the last two Grand Slams, defeating Scots Gary Anderson and Peter Wright in the finals of 2018 and 2019 respectively. Scott Waites is the only BDO player to ever win the Grand Slam of Darts, having been a shock winner in 2010. Waites defeated James Wade in the final having also reached the 2009 final just 12 months earlier, but was beaten by Taylor. Raymond van Barneveld is the other winner of the Grand Slam, being crowned champion in 2012 after an epic final against fellow Dutchman van Gerwen.