Gerwyn Price will open his title defence at the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts against Mikuru Suzuki on Saturday November 9, with the draw for the cross-code tournament producing some intriguing groups.
The 32-player tournament sees 24 PDC qualifiers joined by eight BDO representatives to compete at Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village from November 9-17.
The group stage will take place across the opening four days, with the 32 players drawn into eight groups of four before the top two from each group move through to the knockout stage from the last 16 onwards.
Reigning champion Price, who claimed his first televised title at last year’s Grand Slam, has been drawn in Group C alongside World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, 2013 finalist Robert Thornton and Japan’s Suzuki, the reigning BDO Women’s Champion.
Saturday’s opening group games will see Price face debutant Suzuki as the Welshman begins his challenge to retain the Eric Bristow Trophy.
Top seed Michael van Gerwen, the 11/10 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BoyleSports, heads Group A alongside two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, UK Open quarter-finalist Ross Smith and BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Van Gerwen opens up against Williams but will also face a rematch with Smith during the group stage, following the Kent qualifier’s recent win over the Dutchman in the European Championship.
World Matchplay and European Championship winner Rob Cross heads up a tasty Group E alongside World Grand Prix finalist Dave Chisnall, local star Jamie Hughes and four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton.
Another high-profile quartet came out in Group H, where third seed Michael Smith is joined by UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, World Youth Championship finalist Martin Schindler and three-time Lakeside Champion Glen Durrant.
Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Gary Anderson opens his challenge against BDO debutant Dave Parletti, with Darren Webster and William O’Connor also drawn in Group D.
James Wade, another two-time finalist in the event, heads up Group B alongside Ian White, Steve Lennon and Wesley Harms, while Northern Irish duo Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan are joined in Group G by Germany’s Gabriel Clemens and Dutch debutant Richard Veenstra.
2017 finalist Peter Wright heads Group F, where he is joined by Danny Noppert – who qualified as runner-up from the World Series of Darts Finals last weekend – qualifier Ryan Harrington and Welshman Wayne Warren.
Cross is the 8/1 second favourite, ahead of Wright (9/1), while Price is rated at 11/1 to retain the title, with Anderson a 12/1 chance to finally claim win his favourite event.
“We’re delighted to be the title sponsor of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts this year and look forward to the start of the tournament on Saturday,” said BoyleSports Head of Communications Leon Blanche.
“The best players from both the PDC and the BDO will take centre stage to try and win the Eric Bristow Trophy, and Michael van Gerwen, victorious in the BoyleSports World Grand Prix in Dublin, is having an incredible few months so it’s no surprise to see him as the clear 11/10 favourite, with Rob Cross his nearest rival in the market at 8/1.”
Tickets for the 2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts can be purchased through ticketmaster.co.uk and pdc.seetickets.com.
The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.
2019 BoyleSport Grand Slam of Darts
(1) Michael van Gerwen
(8) James Wade
(5) Gerwyn Price
Dimitri Van den Bergh
(4) Gary Anderson
(2) Rob Cross
(7) Peter Wright
(6) Daryl Gurney
(3) Michael Smith