Players Championship Finals
The PDC Players Championship Finals the final tournament before the world championships. And the last chance for players to find some form, before the showcase of the season. The field is made up from the top 64 players on the Pro Tour order of merit
The Players Championship Finals is an annual darts tournament organised by the PDC in late January to February every year. The tournament was first announced in 2008, then taking place for the first time in 2009 and has remained a staple on the PDC calendar ever since.
The Players Championship has moved venues more than once over the last decade, originally being hosted at the Circus Tavern – the previous venue of the World Darts Championship – for the first two years of its existence. It spent 2011 at the Doncaster Dome, but all Players Championship Finals have since been hosted at the Butlins Resort in Minehead, with it being the second PDC tournament hosted there alongside the UK Open.
Qualifying for the Players Championship Finals is decided by the Players Championship Order of Merit, which only takes into account players’ performances at the non-televised Players Championship events on the PDC Pro Tour. The Players Championship Finals originally started with a pool of 32 players, but this was increased to 64 in 2016 and has remained the same ever since.
Players are seeded per their Players Championship Order of Merit, which can lead to some unusual matchmaking, particularly for a straight knockout tournament such as this. For example, Michael van Gerwen was ranked 18 at the 2019 Players Championship Finals.
There are a total of seven rounds for players to navigate in order to be crowned victorious at the Players Championship, with games featuring an increasing number of legs as the rounds progress. Games are decided by the following number of legs in each round:
- First Round – Best of 11 Legs
- Second Round – Best of 11 Legs
- Third Round – Best of 19 Legs
- Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 Legs
- Semi-Finals – Best of 21 Legs
- Final – Best of 21 Legs
No player has won more Players Championship Finals than Michael van Gerwen, who currently has five titles to his name. Both he and Phil Taylor combined have more Players Championships to their name than the rest of the field combined, with the latter’s total of three victories giving them eight wins compared to four. Since 2013, this has really been van Gerwen’s title, with the Dutchman winning five of the last seven Players Championships, including a triple crown of wins from 2015 to 2017.
The Players Championship Finals has also had the ability to throw up some surprises over the years, with both Paul Nicholson and Kevin Painter picking up the trophy in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Gary Anderson and Daryl Gurney are the other two players to have their names on the Players Championship trophy.