The PDC Masters
The PDC Masters if the first tournament after the world championships. The Masters showcases the top 16 in the work live on ITV Sports. The players always fin the Masters a help as the Premier League normal starts the week after. So blows of those cobwebs.
The Masters is a non-ranking PDC darts tournament featuring the 16 best darts players in the world, as per the PDC Order of Merit. The Masters was first held back in 2013 and is a straight knockout tournament that takes place over the course of three days from Friday to Sunday.
It has had multiple venues since its inaugural tournament, with the first two editions of The Masters taking place at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, before making the switch to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes in 2015. It has remained there ever since and takes place each year in late January/early February.
As previously mentioned, The Masters welcomes the top 16 players in the PDC Order of Merit each year, with players seeded in the tournament as per their ranking upon entering the tournament. As such, the 1st seed plays the 16th seed in the first round, the 2nd seed plays the 15th seed and so on.
There are a total of four rounds within The Masters, starting with the first round of play on the Friday and Saturday, with the quarter-finals beginning in the Sunday afternoon session and ending with the semi-finals and final on Sunday evening. It is a straight knockout tournament and the number of legs required to win each round alters as the tournament progresses. The number of legs in each round increases as follows:
- First Round – Best of 19 Legs
- Quarter-Finals – Best of 19 Legs
- Semi-Finals – Best of 21 Legs
- Final – Best of 21 Legs
The Masters has really been the Michael van Gerwen tournament since first beginning back in 2013, with the Dutchman winning five of the eight Masters tournaments that have taken place thus far. MVG’s five victories in the tournament all came in successive years, starting in 2015 and running all the way through to 2019. His dominant run came to an end in hugely surprising circumstances, as 16 seed Welshman Jonny Clayton defeated him 10-6 in the first round of the 2020 Masters.
With van Gerwen out at the first hurdle, reigning World Champion Peter Wright, fresh off of his first World Championship victory at Alexandra Palace, swept through the field as the second seed to defeat Michael Smith 11-10 in the final. It was also Wright’s first victory at The Masters in his first appearance in the final.
MVG is the only player to have won more than one Masters title in his career at this point, with there being only two other players that have reached the final more than once to date. Those are Raymond van Barneveld, who has lost twice to his fellow countryman in the final, and James Wade, who defeated Mervyn King in the 2014 final, but also lost to van Gerwen in 2019. The Great Phil Taylor is the remaining name on The Masters trophy, having won the inaugural competition back in 2013, beating Adrian Lewis 10-1 in what is still the most one-sided Masters final we have seen so far.