2013 McCOY^S PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS FIXTURES & PRIZE FUND CONFIRMED
THE fixtures and prize fund for the 2013 McCoy^s Premier League darts have been confirmed, with prize money in the ten-player tournament increasing by over 15% to £520,000.
The ten players, headed by reigning champion Phil Taylor, will face each other once over the opening nine weeks of the season, before the bottom two players from the league table are eliminated following the night nine in Brighton.
The remaining eight players will then face off again over the remaining five weeks - doubling up on some nights - before the top four players progress to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 16.
The increase in prize money for the McCoy^s Premier League Darts follows the announcement that the winner of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championship will earn a £250,000 prize and that prize funds for European Tour events will increase by almost 25% to £100,000 per event.
"Darts within the PDC is booming at the moment and it^s important that this growth is reflected in our prize money," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
"We^ve experienced record crowds and record television ratings around the world for major tournaments over the last 12 months, which is a credit to the ever-increasing quality of play on show from the stars of our sport.
"While the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship and McCoy^s Premier League Darts events are the first prize fund increases we have been able to confirm so far, I^m delighted to announce that we^re also reviewing the prize money for all other PDC events and expect to make further increases in due course.
"These are exciting times to be a professional darts player!"
The McCoy^s Premier League Darts will begin on Thursday February 7 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and is played for 15 successive Thursdays in major arenas across the UK & Ireland.
Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen will renew their rivalry on the opening night of the McCoy^s Premier League season in Belfast, in a repeat of their recent memorable World Championship final.
Two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis will face last year^s Premier League runner-up at the Odyssey Arena, Simon Whitlock, while 2011 Premier League champion Gary Anderson plays Raymond van Barneveld.
Wes Newton will make his Premier League debut against 2009 champion James Wade, while last year^s semi-finalist Andy Hamilton meets another newcomer, the UK Open champion Robert Thornton.
The second week of the McCoy^s Premier League Darts will see Anderson and Thornton meet Whitlock and van Gerwen respectively as they return to their native Scotland for the league night at Aberdeen^s AECC.
The night will also feature a clash between Stoke rivals Lewis and Taylor, who hit a nine-dart finish in Aberdeen last year, as well as van Barneveld^s contest with Newton and Hamilton^s fixture against Wade.
The third league night, at the BIC in Bournemouth on February 21, will feature the all-Dutch clash between van Gerwen and van Barneveld - a repeat of the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts Final - as well as the rematch of last May^s Premier League Darts final between Taylor and Whitlock.
Week Four in Exeter will see van Barneveld and Whitlock clash in a rematch of their recent World Championship quarter-final, with the all-Scottish battle between Anderson and Thornton also taking place, plus the meeting of Taylor and Wade.
Nottingham^s Capital FM Arena will host a repeat of the 2012 European Championship final as Whitlock meets Newton, with Lewis playing van Gerwen and Taylor playing Anderson.
Week Six in Manchester will see Stoke rivals Taylor and Hamilton meet, while Anderson and Lewis face off in a repeat of the 2011 Premier League Darts final, and the visit to Cardiff in Week Seven includes the clashes between Wade and van Barneveld and Anderson^s meeting with van Gerwen.
The tournament^s second league night in Scotland, at Glasgow^s SECC in Week Eight, includes repeats of the recent World Championship semi-finals between Taylor and van Barneveld and van Gerwen up against Wade, while Thornton meets Whitlock and Anderson plays Newton on home soil.
The final league night before the bottom two players in the league table are eliminated, at The Brighton Centre on April 4, include the meeting of Thornton and Taylor in a repeat of last year^s UK Open final, while former Premier League winners Anderson and Wade also clash.
With the field reduced to eight players following Week Nine, the remaining stars will play each other once more across the final five league nights, with either five or six league fixtures to be played on each evening.
The fixtures for Weeks Ten-14 will be announced following Week Nine, with the top four players eventually progressing to compete in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on May 16.
2013 McCoy^s Premier League Darts
February 7 - Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Andy Hamilton v Robert Thornton
James Wade v Wes Newton
Raymond van Barneveld v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 02890 739074 or www.odysseyarena.com
February 14, AECC, Aberdeen
Wes Newton v Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton v James Wade
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor
Robert Thornton v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 08444 77 9000 or www.aecc.co.uk
February 21 - BIC, Bournemouth
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Robert Thornton v Wes Newton
Simon Whitlock v Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Andy Hamilton v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 576 3000 or www.bic.co.uk
February 28 - Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Robert Thornton v Gary Anderson
Andy Hamilton v Michael van Gerwen
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Wes Newton v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v Simon Whitlock
Tickets: 08444 99 99 55 or www.westpointarena.co.uk
March 7 - Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
James Wade v Robert Thornton
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Wes Newton v Simon Whitlock
Tickets: 0843 373 3000 or www.capitalfmarena.com
March 14 - Manchester Arena
Michael van Gerwen v Wes Newton
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor v Andy Hamilton
Tickets: 0844 847 8000 or www.mcr-arena.com
March 21 - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Andy Hamilton v Simon Whitlock
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
Robert Thornton v Adrian Lewis
Wes Newton v Phil Taylor
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 02920 22 44 88 or www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk
March 28 - SECC, Glasgow
Adrian Lewis v Andy Hamilton
Simon Whitlock v Robert Thornton
Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson v Wes Newton
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Tickets: 0844 395 4000 or www.ticketSOUP.com
April 4 - The Brighton Centre
Gary Anderson v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton
Wes Newton v Andy Hamilton
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0844 847 1515 or www.brightoncentre.co.uk
April 11 - Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Six matches to be played
Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk
April 18 - The O2, Dublin
Six matches to be played
Tickets: 00353 818 719 3000 or www.theo2.ie
April 25 - NIA, Birmingham
Six matches to be played
Tickets: 0844 338 8000 or www.theticketfactory.com
May 2 - The Echo Arena, Liverpool
Five matches to be played
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com
May 9 - Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Five matches to be played
Tickets: 0844 493 6666 or www.metroradioarena.co.uk
May 16 - The O2, London
Plus PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final
Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or www.theo2.co.uk
The ten players will face each other once during the opening nine weeks. Following Week Nine, the bottom two players from the league table will be eliminated. From Weeks Ten-14, the remaining eight players will play each other once again. Following Week 14, the top four players will progress to the Play-Offs.
All league fixtures will be the best of 12 legs of 501. Once a player reaches seven legs, they have won the game and no further legs will be played.
Two points will be awarded for a win, one point will be awarded for a six-all draw and no points will be awarded for a defeat.
The player named on the left in the fixture will throw first in the opening leg of each game. This will be reversed in the second meeting (where applicable).
Should players be tied on points in the league table, Leg Difference will be the first deciding factor. If this is also a tie, then Legs Won Against Throw will be the next deciding factor, and any further tie would be split by a comparison of the relevant players^ three-dart tournament average at that stage.
The semi-finals will be played over the best of 15 legs (first to eight) and the final will be the best of 19 legs (first to ten).
All nights will begin at 7pm and be screened live on Sky Sports HD.