TAYLOR TO MEET BEATON IN PARTYPOKER.COM WORLD GRAND PRIX OPENER
Reigning champion Taylor defeated Dave Chisnall 6-0 in sets in last year^s final with a sublime performance as he picked up his 11th victory in the double-start event, live on Sky Sports.
Former World Grand Prix semi-finalist Steve Beaton will be Taylor^s first round opponent in this year^s tournament, which will be held from October 6-12 at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.
Number one seed Michael van Gerwen, the 2012 World Grand Prix champion, will take on fellow Dutchman Vincent van der Voort - who was best man at the World Champion^s wedding in August - in their first round clash.
Two-time World Grand Prix winner James Wade, the number seven seed who is the only other former champion in the 32-player field this year, will take on Andy Smith - a three-time quarter-finalist in the event - in another big first round clash.
Last year^s runner-up Chisnall faces another former finalist, the reigning Premier League Darts champion Raymond van Barneveld, while number three seed Adrian Lewis has drawn Northern Irish ace Daryl Gurney.
Peter Wright, who has moved up to world number four, will take on Jamie Caven, while number five seed Simon Whitlock takes on Welsh star Richie Burnett, who was a semi-finalist three years ago in Dublin.
A high-profile first round clash will see in-form Gary Anderson, who has moved back up to sixth in the world rankings this year, playing Northern Irish favourite Brendan Dolan - who hit the historic first double-start nine-darter on his way to the 2011 World Grand Prix final.
Michael Smith, the former World Youth Champion who won Sunday^s European Darts Trophy event in Leipzig, will take on Dean Winstanley, while another recent European Tour winner, Mervyn King, faces Wes Newton.
2007 World Grand Prix runner-up Terry Jenkins begins his bid to go one better against Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts, debutant Stephen Bunting takes on experienced Ronnie Baxter, Robert Thornton meets Justin Pipe and Kevin Painter plays Andy Hamilton.
Northern Irish left-hander Michael Mansell has drawn Ian White, while debutant Andrew Gilding faces Darren Webster, his East Anglian rival.
The first round of the partypoker.com World Grand Prix will be split across Monday October 6 and Tuesday October 7, with the second round held across Wednesday October 8 and Thursday October 9.
Friday October 10 sees all four quarer-finals take place, with the semi-finals on Saturday October 11 and the final on Sunday October 12, which will be preceded by the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final.
Tickets for the partypoker.com World Grand Prix are available now through the SeeTickets box office on 0818 776378 (Ireland) or 0844 871 8807 (UK), or direct from the Citywest Hotel by calling 00353 (0)1 401 0505, or online at www.seetickets.com/darts.
partypoker.com World Grand Prix
First Round Draw
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Vincent van der Voort
Dean Winstanley v Michael Smith
Dave Chisnall (8) v Raymond van Barneveld
Mervyn King v Wes Newton
Simon Whitlock (5) v Richie Burnett
Terry Jenkins v Kim Huybrechts
Peter Wright (4) v Jamie Caven
Stephen Bunting v Ronnie Baxter
Phil Taylor (2) v Steve Beaton
Darren Webster v Andrew Gilding
James Wade (7) v Andy Smith
Robert Thornton v Justin Pipe
Gary Anderson (6) v Brendan Dolan
Michael Mansell v Ian White
Adrian Lewis (3) v Daryl Gurney
Kevin Painter v Andy Hamilton
Monday October 6 (7pm-12am)
First Round x8
Tuesday October 7 (7pm-12am)
First Round x8
Wednesday October 8 (7pm-11pm)
Second Round x4
Thursday October 9 (7pm-11pm)
Second Round x4
Friday October 10 (7pm-11pm)
Saturday October 11 (7pm-10pm)
Sunday October 12 (7pm-9pm)
Preceded by Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay Final
First Round - Best of Three Sets
Second Round - Best of Five Sets
Quarter-Finals - Best of Five Sets
Semi-Finals - Best of Nine Sets
Final - Best of 11 legs
All Sets are the best of five legs. All legs must begin and end with a double.