PARTYPOKER.COM BACKS WORLD GRAND PRIX AS STARS PREPARE FOR DOUBLE TROUBLE
THE PDC are delighted to welcome PartyPoker.com as the title sponsors of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix, which will begin on Monday as players compete for the prestigious £100,000 title.
The £350,000 tournament will be staged at the New Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin from October 3-9 - featuring 32 of the world^s best darts players in the unique double-start format, which requires players to both begin and end a leg with a double.
Won nine times by Phil Taylor, this year^s event sees left-hander James Wade defend the title he picked up for a second time in 2010, when he defeated Adrian Lewis 6-3 in the final.
The competitors in the 2011 PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix will also include five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, Australian star Simon Whitlock, three-time World Champion John Part, 2004 winner Colin Lloyd, Northern Ireland^s Brendan Dolan and Limerick-based youngster William O^Connor.
"The PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix is one of the highlights in the darting calendar, and it gives us great pleasure to welcome PartyPoker.com as the title sponsors of the tournament," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
"They have been great supporters of PDC tournaments in recent years and we^re delighted to have them on board once again."
The PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix will begin on Monday night, with James Wade beginning the defence of his title against Bristol^s Steve Brown amongst eight first round matches.
Two other high-profile games feature Raymond van Barneveld facing Mervyn King and World Champion Adrian Lewis against John Part, a year after the Stoke ace won through to the final with victory over Phil Taylor.
"That semi-final last year was probably the turning point in my career," said Lewis. "To beat Phil over a long format gave me the confidence to go on and win the World Championship title.
"Seeing James Wade lifting the World Grand Prix hurt me and I didn^t want it to happen again, and went on to win the World Championship. I^m looking forward to this year^s event and it would be great to be lifting the trophy next Sunday.
"If John brings the form he has shown on the circuit this year to Dublin then it^s going to be tough in the first round, but I think I^ve got the game to beat him."
Taylor enters the event on Tuesday night, when he faces Peter Wright in one of the remaining eight first round games, which also feature Simon Whitlock against two-time finalist Terry Jenkins and in-form Gary Anderson against resurgent Welshman Richie Burnett.
"I think there will be fireworks on Monday," said Burnett, who last played in the World Grand Prix in 2004. "He know that I can play the game, and I know he^s fantastic.
"He^s one of my favourite players. I love watching him and he^s fantastic for the game and if I can go up there and play my darts and enjoy myself, I^ll be happy. It will be a great game for the crowd."
Taylor was defeated in last year^s semi-finals by Lewis, but followed up his July wins in the World Matchplay and European Championship with victory in Group Two of Championship League Darts on Wednesday.
"I^m feeling good and playing well so I^ll look forward to the World Grand Prix," said Taylor. "It was a good summer for me, and playing in Championship League has given me plenty of match practice ahead of Dublin."
The second round will be played on Wednesday and Thursday nights, with the quarter-finals being played on Friday, the semi-finals following on Saturday and the final on Sunday night.
Tickets for the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix are still available from the Citywest Hotel Box Office on 00353 1401 0505 or in person at the event.
Play commences at 7pm on each night from Monday October 3-Saturday October 8, and at 6pm on Sunday October 9 with the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final ahead of the PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix final. Doors open at 6pm.
PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix
Schedule of Play
Monday October 3 (7pm)
Brendan Dolan v Wayne Jones
Justin Pipe v John Henderson
Vincent van der Voort v Kevin Painter
Wes Newton v Colin Lloyd
Adrian Lewis v John Part
James Wade v Steve Brown
Raymond van Barneveld v Mervyn King
William O^Connor v Andy Smith
Tuesday October 4 (7pm)
Jamie Caven v Denis Ovens
Mark Hylton v Mark Walsh
Dave Chisnall v Alan Tabern
Mark Webster v Andy Hamilton
Gary Anderson v Richie Burnett
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
Simon Whitlock v Terry Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter v Paul Nicholson
Wednesday October 5 (7pm start)
Newton/Lloyd v Pipe/Henderson
Wade/Brown v van der Voort/Painter
van Barneveld/King v O^Connor/Smith
Lewis/Part v Dolan/Jones
Thursday October 6 (7pm)
Webster/Hamilton v Chisnall/Tabern
Whitlock/Jenkins v Hylton/Walsh
Taylor/Wright v Baxter/Nicholson
Anderson/Burnett v Caven/Ovens
Friday October 7 (7pm)
Lewis/Part/Dolan/Jones v Newton/Lloyd/Pipe/Henderson
van Barneveld/King/O^Connor/Smith v Wade/Brown/van der Voort/Painter
Taylor/Wright/Baxter/Nicholson v Webster/Hamilton/Chisnall/Tabern
Whitlock/Jenkins/Hylton/Walsh v Anderson/Burnett/Caven/Ovens
Saturday October 8 (7pm)
Sunday October 9
6pm - Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final
Connie Finnan v Shane O^Connor
Best of 11 legs
7pm - World Grand Prix Final