Max Hopp quiz.

QUIZ: How well do you know German star Max Hopp?

Max Hopp quiz.
Max Hopp quiz: How well do you know the German starlet?
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Max Hopp quiz

Ahead of the inaugural German Darts Masters World Series event, Darts World have come up with a dedicated Max Hopp quiz in recognition of the nation’s highest profile player.

It’s hard to believe that the starlet is aged just 21, and has a hugely promising future ahead of him for many years (and possibly decades) to come.

He’s already achieved so much in his short career to date, but how much do you know about him?

Why not test your darting knowledge by trying out our Max Hopp quiz, which is powered by Sporcle and conjured up by Sam Barnard for Darts World?

You have just 6 minutes to guess them all. In total, there are 15 questions, each with four multiple choice answers, so even if you are unsure about any you’ll still have a one in four chance of getting it correct.

Are you ready then? To start, simply click the ‘play’ button below to start the quiz, and enter your answers in the box provided:


How did you do? Let us know your score out of 15 on our Twitter and Facebook pages to compare how you did against others!

If the quiz above doesn’t work, try clicking on this link.

Without giving too much away for our Max Hopp quiz, here is a bit of background about him.

Born in Idstein, Germany, on August 20th 1996, Hopp initially took part in BDO and WDF events, and won a ranking title and reached another final in just his maiden year aged only 14.

Hopp since became the second-youngest ever player to take part in the PDC World Championship, and is fast becoming one of the biggest names on tour.

His rise in the game has coincided with Germany’s rapidly growing love for the game, and he has become somewhat of a poster boy for the sport in his nation.

The young-gun has dealt with the pressure extremely well to date, winning the 2015 World Youth Championship and helping guide his country to two World Cup of Darts quarter-final appearances. He also already has a nine-dart finish to his name!

So, test your knowledge, and even learn more about him, by trying out our Max Hopp quiz!

2017 World Cup of Darts preview.

2017 Betway World Cup of Darts – Tournament Preview

2017 World Cup of Darts preview.
2017 World Cup of Darts preview: This year’s edition promises to be yet another thrilling show of global darts!
Photo: Lawrence Lustig / PDC

2017 World Cup of Darts preview

Darts World produce a 2017 World Cup of Darts preview, with this year seeing 32 nations across six continents take part for the first time from June 1-4 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Find out more about each country in our in-depth country profiles article.

England are the defending champions, and have won four of the previous six editions, but will be without Phil Taylor this year.

Dave Chisnall is his replacement, and the 180 specialist will team up with Adrian Lewis in the hope of helping his nation to a third straight title.

England take on fellow British territory Gibraltar, who have 2016 Gibraltar Darts Trophy quarter-finalist Dyson Parody, as well as Dylan Duo, who returns to the set-up after missing out the last two years.

Meanwhile, Scotland are the top seeds for the first time, thanks to boasting worlds number two and three Gary Anderson and Peter Wright respectively.

The pair reached the final in 2015, and have a great chance of doing at least the same again, after avoiding England and the Netherlands in the top half of the draw.

Scotland take on Singapore first, with the Asian nation able to call upon the first man to ever hit a World Championship nine-darter in Paul Lim for the fourth year in succession.

But tournament sponsors betway have made the Netherlands slight favourites to win back their first title (and third in total) since 2014. That’s despite them being third seeds.

In world number one Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld, they are the only pairing in this year’s event both to have won a World Cup.

The Dutch take on the Czech Republic first, in a relatively straight forward tie as they are still yet to win a match in this event in three attempts.

Test your darting knowledge by naming all 40 nations to have taken part in the World Cup.

Elsewhere, the other three former finalist nations Wales, Australia and Belgium have all been drawn in the same top half.

In-form Gerwyn Price joins former 2008 BDO world champion Mark Webster in Wales’ team for the second straight year, and they kick off their campaign against Finland.

They could face Australia as early as the quarter-finals, and the Aussies should have no troubles getting to that stage for the fourth year in succession.

Ever-present World Cup star Simon Whitlock, who reached the final in 2012 with Paul Nicholson, partners Kyle Anderson again, and they’ll be confident in beating Denmark for the second straight year.

Belgium, meanwhile, have never gone out earlier than the quarters since Kim Huybrechts joined the team in 2012, and with his half-brother Ronny they were shock finalists in 2013. They take on New Zealand up first.

Sixth seeds Northern Ireland face host nation Germany in perhaps the match of the first round, and it really could be a fiery and nervy occasion for both teams.

The Germans, who have 20-year-old duo Max Hopp and Martin Schindler in their side this year, will be desperate to go through after losing in the first round last year.

But the British nation boast in-form Daryl Gurney and the experienced Brendan Dolan, who got all the way to the semis last time.

Another intriguing opening stage battle sees two debutants drawn against each other, Brazil and Switzerland.

The South Americans are the first ever nation from their continent to take part in the PDC World Cup of Darts, while the Swiss only made it after fellow Europeans Latvia pulled out just before the deadline.

Brazil have PDC player Diogo Portela, who made his European Tour debut this year, to turn to and are slight favourites for this clash.

Austria are the other seeded country we’ve yet to mention, and with Mensur Suljovic in their team, anything is possible. They face China first.

Other nations to look out for, who have done well in the World Cup in the past, include a John Part-led Canada, Spain, South Africa, USA and Hong Kong, who are against respective teams Hungary, Japan, Sweden, Italy and Russia.

Thailand v Greece and Republic of Ireland v Poland are the final two fixtures of our 2017 World Cup of Darts preview, which on paper look very close.

Draw & schedule

Thursday, June 1 (8pm local time, 7pm BST)

First round

Thailand v Greece
Hong Kong v Russia
Republic of Ireland v Poland
Japan v Spain
Belgium v New Zealand
Australia v Denmark
Scotland v Singapore
Wales v Finland

Friday, June 2 (8pm local time, 7pm BST)

First round

USA v Italy
Hungary v Canada
Austria v China
South Africa v Sweden
Brazil v Switzerland
Northern Ireland v Germany
England v Gibraltar
Netherlands v Czech Republic

Saturday, June 3

Second round

Afternoon session (2pm local time, 1pm BST)
Belgium/New Zealand v Thailand/Greece
Wales/Finland v Republic of Ireland/Poland
Australia/Denmark v Hong Kong/Russia
Scotland/Singapore v Japan/Spain

Evening session (8pm local time, 7pm BST)
Austria/China v Hungary/Canada
Northern Ireland/Germany v Brazil/Switzerland
England/Gibraltar v South Africa/Sweden
Netherlands/Czech Republic v USA/Italy

Sunday, June 4

Afternoon session (2pm local time, 1pm BST)
Quarter-finals

Evening session (8pm local time, 7pm BST)
Semi-finals
Final

First round draw & tournament bracket

(1) Scotland v Singapore
Japan v Spain
(8) Belgium v New Zealand
Thailand v Greece
(5) Australia v Denmark
Hong Kong v Russia
(4) Wales v Finland
Republic of Ireland v Poland

(2) England v Gibraltar
South Africa v Sweden
(7) Austria v China
Hungary v Canada
(6) Northern Ireland v Germany
Brazil v Switzerland
(3) Netherlands v Czech Republic
USA v Italy

2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.

2017 Betway World Cup of Darts – Nation Profiles

2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.
Find out everything you need to know about each team in Darts World’s 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles

Darts World’s Sam Barnard provides 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles, which include in-depth facts, stats and everything you need to know about all 32 participating countries at this year’s tournament in Frankfurt, Germany.

The seventh edition of this now-annual event is the most global to date, with six continents being represented – only Antarctica misses out for obvious reasons.

England are the defending champions, though miss a notable key figure for the first time, while there are two countries making their debuts.

So, without further ado, read on for our 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.

All odds below are with tournament sponsors betway.com, and are subject to change.

Australia (5th seeds)

2017 team: Simon Whitlock (7th appearance) and Kyle Anderson (2nd)

Past players: Paul Nicholson (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2012)

First 2017 opponents: Denmark (June 1, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Denmark, Russia/Hong Kong, Wales, Scotland/Belgium, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 25/1 (4th favourites)

More info
As with 18 other nations, Australia have now taken part in every World Cup to date, and Whitlock has played in them all.

The Wizard helped lead the Aussies to the 2012 final, with then-teammate Nicholson, but is with the higher ranked Anderson for the second year running.

Australia got to the quarters in 2016, narrowly losing only to the Netherlands, and face Denmark first up this time around – a nation they defeated 2-1 in the second round last year.

Whitlock has been in great form in 2017 so far, and his team will be expected to at least reach the last eight again.

Austria (7th seeds)

2017 team: Mensur Suljovic (7th appearance) and Rowby-John Rodriguez (4th)

Past players: Maik Langendorf (2010, 2013), Dietmar Burger (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/Quarter-finals (2010, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: China (June 2, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: China, Canada, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 40/1 (joint-7th favourites)

More info
Austria have arguably underperformed in the World Cup, having boasted current PDC top 10 star Suljovic in all six previous editions and young talent Rodriguez for the last three.

However, The Gentle has only recently come to prominence in the last year or so, and the nation did get to the quarters again in 2016 – after previously reaching the final eight (group stage) in 2010 too.

They should get to that stage again, if they beat China (who they defeated 5-2 in 2014) and then likely Canada, as expected.

Austria will then have to again contend with England, who they lost to last year in the quarters but are now without four-time World Cup winner Phil Taylor.

Belgium (8th seeds)

2017 team: Kim Huybrechts (6th appearance) and Ronny Huybrechts (5th)

Past players: Patrick Bulen (2010), Rocco Maes (2010), Kurt van de Rijck (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2013)

First 2017 opponents: New Zealand (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: New Zealand, Greece, Scotland, Wales/Australia, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 33/1 (joint-5th favourites)

More info
Ever since half-brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts were shock 2013 finalists in their first World Cup together, Belgium have stuck with this pairing.

They’ve reached the quarters once and semis twice since, which is why their joint-5th favourites tag belies their eighth seeding.

Belgium kick off against potentially tricky opponents New Zealand this year, but should get through safely if 2017 Premier League player Kim is anywhere near to his best.

They are in line to set up a rematch of their quarter-final with Scotland last year, after they beat the British team 2-1 to reach the semis.

Brazil

2017 team: Diogo Portela (debut) and Alexandre Sattin (debut)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: Debut

Best performance: N/A

First 2017 opponents: Switzerland (June 2, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Brazil are the first South American nation to take part in the World Cup of Darts, thanks to Portela, who is also the only arrowsmith from his continent to play on the PDC circuit and qualify for a European Tour event.

The 28-year-old has showed so much dedication to get where he is, ever since first appearing on UK TV screens a couple years ago on the gameshow One Hundred and Eighty – which of course he won, along with designated pro and former World Cup player James Wade.

This will no doubt be Portela’s best moment in darts to date, as he has the chance to show off his skills to an even bigger audience and help the sport in Brazil further develop.

He partners Alexandre Sattin, who is a steady and experienced doubles player and gained his place via qualifiers in Brazil.

Canada

2017 team: John Part (7th appearance) and John Norman Jr (debut)

Past players: Ken MacNeil (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), Jeff Smith (2013), Shaun Narain (2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/Quarter-finals (2010, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Hungary (June 2, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Hungary, Austria, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 300/1

More info
Legendary three-time world champion Part is back on our TV screens for another World Cup, despite having effectively been in semi-retirement from the game the past couple of years.

Darth Maple partners dubutant Norman Jr this year, with the duo both gaining PDC Tour Cards via Q-School earlier in 2017.

Canada will be hoping to repeat their best effort of getting to the last eight in 2010 and 2016.

They are expected to get past Hungary, who they beat 5-3 at this stage in 2013, but will then likely tackle Austria.

China

2017 team: Weihong Li (debut) and Yuanjun Liu (2nd appearance)

Past players: Yin Deng (2014), Jun Cai (2014), Jun Chen (2015), Xuejie Huang (2015), Wenge Xie (2016)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Austria (June 2, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Austria, Canada, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
China have shown steady progression in darts since first appearing in the World Cup in 2014, reaching the second round for the first time last year, and PDC chairman Barry Hearn has recognised that by adding Shanghai to the World Series of Darts in 2016 and 2017.

Liu was apart of that 2016 World Cup first round triumph over the Czech Republic, and he is now partnered with debutant Li.

It’ll be a tough ask for China to replicate their success last year, though, with Austria being their opening opponents.

Hearn and the PDC will be hoping that one day darts can be as big a hit in China as another of his projects snooker has, with the potential to boast hundreds of millions of viewers from the East Asian nation.

Czech Republic

2017 team: Karel Sedlacek (debut) and Frantisek Humpula (debut)

Past players: Martin Kapucian (2010*), Pavel Drtil (2010*, 2016), Michal Kocik (2015, 2016), Pavel Jirkal (2015)

Past appearances: 3 (2010, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round (2010, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Netherlands (June 2, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Netherlands, USA, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Czech Republic are technically taking part in their third World Cup, as they had to withdraw from the first 2010 edition after travel issues (*but as they weren’t replaced the records say they were entered that year).

However, the Central European nation are yet to gain a win in this competition, losing in the first round the last two years to Austria and China.

Their best result was against the latter (5-3), but only a miracle will see them past two-time champions the Netherlands.

Czech Republic have gone for two debutants this time around, so perhaps they are hoping for beginner’s luck?

Denmark

2017 team: Per Laursen (7th appearance) and Alex Jensen (debut)

Past players: Vladimir Andersen (2010), Jann Hoffmann (2012, 2013), Dennis Lindskjold (2014), Per Skau (2015), Daniel Jensen (2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2012, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Australia (June 1, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Australia, Russia/Hong Kong, Wales, Scotland/Belgium, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Laursen is in an exclusive club of being only one of 13 players to have now taken part in all seven World Cups.

However, in that time, he and Denmark have only won twice – though could end that run if they manage to upset Australia in round 1 after losing to them 2-1 in the last 16 last year.

One of Russia or Hong Kong would be next, but it’s easier said than done, and it remains to be seen how Jansen will cope on his debut.

England (2nd seeds)

2017 team: Adrian Lewis (6th appearance) and Dave Chisnall (debut)

Past players: Phil Taylor (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), James Wade (2010)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Champions (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Gibraltar (June 2, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Gibraltar, South Africa/Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 11/2 (3rd favourites)

More info
England have won the last two titles, and four of the six in total. However, they’ll be without 16-time world champion Taylor for the first time.

Chisnall is now higher in the PDC world rankings than the all-time great, so merits his place alongside Lewis, but how will he hope on his debut?

Chizzy has certainly been in good form this year, making a courageous run towards the end of the Premier League campaign and throwing a nine-darter in May.

England should have no troubles against against fellow British nation Gibraltar, but potential second round opponents South Africa have caused a few shocks over the years, and from then on it won’t be easy for them.

Finland

2017 team: Kim Viljanen (3rd appearance) and Marko Kantele (5th)

Past players: Jarkko Komula (2010, 2013, 2014), Petri Korte (2012), Jani Haavisto (2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2013)

First 2017 opponents: Wales (June 1, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Wales, Ireland/Poland, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 200/1

More info
Finland have been ever-presents at the World Cup, and certainly showed their worth in 2013 by reaching the semis.

Their pair of Komula and Haavisto, who shocked the likes of the Netherlands, Belgium and hosts Germany that year won’t be in Frankfurt this time around, but in Viljanen and Kantele the nation certainly have experience.

They haven’t won together, however, and face a very difficult opening tie against title contenders Wales.

Kantele will be hoping to rely on his form, that has seen him qualify for two European Tour events this year so far.

Germany

2017 team: Max Hopp (3rd appearance) and Martin Schindler (debut)

Past players: Jyhan Artut (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Andree Welge (2010, 2013, 2014), Bernd Roith (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2013, 2015)

First 2017 opponents: Northern Ireland (June 2, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Northern Ireland, Brazil/Switzerland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 100/1

More info
Artut misses out this year for the first time since in World Cup of Darts history, as Germany have gone with 20-year-old Schindler to partner Hopp (of the same age).

Being the youngest pairing by far this year, they’ll have to show experience beyond their years if they are to defeat sixth seeds Northern Ireland.

But backed by a passionate home crowd, this is perhaps the tie of the opening round, so expect it to be a cracker.

If the Germans can cause a first round shock, it’ll certainly be good for the tournament and fans, and they have the potential to face rivals the Netherlands and England in the quarters and semis, which could produce fireworks.

Gibraltar

2017 team: Dyson Parody (7th appearance) and Dylan Duo (5th appearance)

Past players: Manuel Vilerio (2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2015)

First 2017 opponents: England (June 2, 22:00)

Potential run to final: England, South Africa/Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Parody has flown the flag for Gibraltar since the tournament’s inception in 2010, but is now back with partner Duo after the latter’s two years absence.

The oversees British territory, by far the smallest 2017 World Cup nation in terms of population (with around 30k), managed to claim their first win during that time over Italy in 2015.

Passionate Parody certainly lit up the stage that year, but will have to unearth the quality that saw him reach the 2016 Gibraltar Trophy quarters and nearly knock out Michael van Gerwen along the way, if his team are to have any chance of beating England.

Gibraltar will certainly have to try and ruffle a few feathers to unsettle the new partnership of Lewis and Chisnall.

Greece

2017 team: John Michael (2nd appearance) and Ioannis Selachoglou (2nd)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: 1 (2016)

Best performance: First round (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Thailand (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Thailand, Belgium, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 300/1

More info
Greece are taking part in only their second World Cup of Darts, but have PDC world number 67 (at the time of writing) Michael to help them to their first victory.

The Cypriot-born 43-year-old has been a fan favourite at the PDC World Championship the last three years, thanks to his enjoyable walk-on (dance) to Zorba the Greek, and is partnered again with Selachoglou.

Greece have a slightly more favourable first round fixture this year, after losing to Canada in 2016, as they take on Thailand.

They are slight favourites to beat them in the opening match of the 2017 World Cup.

Hong Kong

2017 team: Royden Lam (4th appearance) and Kai Fan Leung (debut)

Past players: Scott MacKenzie (2014, 2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2015)

First 2017 opponents: Russia (June 1, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Russia, Australia, Wales, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Hong Kong are another Asian nation that have shown much promise in recent years, and they even reached the quarters in 2015 after brilliantly shocking seeded British Isles duo Wales and Republic of Ireland.

They were edged out by the latter 5-4 in a rematch last year, but will back themselves to topple Russia this time around.

The bespectacled Lam takes part in his fourth straight World Cup, but will be without usual partner MacKenzie, who is replaced by debutant Leung.

Hungary

2017 team: Zoltan Mester (debut) and Janos Vegso (debut)

Past players: Nandor Bezzeg (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Kristian Kaufmann (2012), Zsolt Meszaros (2013, 2014), Gabor Takacs (2015), Patrik Kovacs (2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Canada (June 2, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Canada, Austria, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Despite having no established names, Bezzeg and Kovacs led Hungary to first round victories the last two years – over Sweden and then Thailand.

However, debutants Mester and Vegso will represent them in 2017, with the duo having impressed in European Tour Eastern European qualifiers this year.

They are tasked with reaching the second round for the third year in succession, and have an outside chance against Canada, who they lost to 5-3 in 2012.

Hungary’s prize for beating the North Americans would likely be a meeting with neighbouring nation Austria.

Republic of Ireland

2017 team: Mick McGowan (4th appearance) and William O’Connor (7th)

Past players: Connie Finnan (2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Poland (June 1, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Poland, Wales, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 150/1

More info
A number of arrowsmiths have hailed from Ireland over the years, but it might be a surprise to know that they’ve never got past the second round at the PDC World Cup of Darts.

They’ve reached that stage five times, however – only being winless in 2014.

Their first round meeting with Poland is a repeat of when they thrashed them 5-0 in 2015, but the Polish have improved a lot since and were without key man Krzysztof Ratajski that year.

McGowan and O’Connor have played together in this tournament three times, but this clash could go right down to the wire.

Italy

2017 team: Daniele Petri (5th appearance) and Gabriel Rollo (debut)

Past players: Matteo Dal Monte (2013), Marco Brentegani (2014, 2015), Michel Furlani (2016)

Past appearances: 4 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round/Group stage (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: USA (June 2, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: USA, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Italy are still winless in this tournament after four attempts, and Petri has played in them all.

He is partnered with debutant Rollo this time around, after three others before him have failed to inspire their nation to a maiden win.

Even if they manage to beat the USA, they would most likely have to take on darting giants the Netherlands in the second round.

The Italians gave a decent try of it in 2014, though, when they managed to take two legs off Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld.

Japan

2017 team: Haruki Muramatsu (7th appearance) and Yuki Yamada (debut)

Past players: Taro Yachi (2010), Morihiro Hashimoto (2012, 2014, 2015), Sho Katsumi (2013), Keita Ono (2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2013)

First 2017 opponents: Spain (June 1, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Spain, Scotland, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
This will certainly be an emotional World Cup for Japan, as Hashimoto – a three-time participant – sadly passed away earlier this year aged just 40.

The former Japan Masters star, who twice played in the PDC Worlds main draw, will always be remembered for his charismatic displays.

Japan face a tough opening first task this year against a rapidly rising Spain, who they lost to 6-3 at this stage in 2010.

Muramatsu was present that day, and has ever since for the Asian nation. He’s back to partner debutant Yamada.

Netherlands (3rd seeds)

2017 team: Michael van Gerwen (5th appearance) and Raymond van Barneveld (7th)

Past players: Co Stompe (2010), Vincent van der Voort (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Champions (2010, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Czech Republic (June 2, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Czech Republic, USA, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 5/4 (favourites)

More info
Onto the nation hoping to win back the World Cup trophy, after losing 2016’s final and going out in the semis the year before.

World number one Van Gerwen and two-time champion of this event Barney team up for the fifth straight year, despite Jelle Klaasen being ranked above the latter.

Van Barneveld’s lower ranking makes the Dutch third seeds, but it does not stop the bookies making them slight tournament favourites.

It was Mighty Mike that ultimately let them down last year, losing out to Lewis in a decider for the title, which will make him all the more determined.

The Netherlands open up against Czech Republic, which should be no trouble for them and a nice start to the tournament to help settle any nerves.

New Zealand

2017 team: Cody Harris (2nd appearance) and Rob Szabo (3rd)

Past players: Phillip Hazel (2010, 2013), Warren Parry (2010, 2015, 2016), Warren French (2012), Preston Ridd (2012), Craig Caldwell (2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2015)

First 2017 opponents: Belgium (June 1, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Belgium, Greece, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 250/1

More info
New Zealand will be hoping to rely on emerging talent Harris, who makes his second World Cup appearance, and he’ll be partnered by the experienced Szabo this time.

Harris has been winning tournaments left, right and centre Down Under, and will hope to convert that form onto the oche in Frankfurt.

Szabo missed out on a place last year, but has played twice before, helping the Kiwis to a tight first round victory over Canada in 2015.

It’ll be a big shock if New Zealand beat Belgium, who always do well in this event, though. A winnable second round tie is on the cards if they somehow do.

Northern Ireland (6th seeds)

2017 team: Daryl Gurney (2nd appearance) and Brendan Dolan (7th)

Past players: John MaGowan (2010), Michael Mansell (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Germany (June 2, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Germany, Brazil/Switzerland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 40/1 (joint-7th favourites)

More info
Northern Ireland are genuine dark horses for the title, as in-form Gurney and the first ever player to throw a double-start 9-darter Dolan are both capable of conjuring up magic.

They can certainly aim to match their feat of reaching the semis last year, though first have to see off Germany in front of a partisan home crowd.

The sixth seeds also have a potentially tricky run from the quarter-finals, with the Netherlands, England and then Scotland all possible opponents in a row.

Poland

2017 team: Krzysztof Ratajski (4th appearance) and Tytus Kanik (2nd appearance)

Past players: Krzysztof Kciuk (2010, 2013), Krzysztof Chmielewski (2014), Krzysztof Strozyk (2014), Mariusz Paul (2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2013, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Ireland (June 1, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Ireland, Wales, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
What is it about Polish darts players with the forename Krzysztof? A total of four have represented them at the World Cup of Darts.

Ratajski is the most famous of them all and was part of the team that reached the second round in 2013.

The 40-year-old has gained a lot of experience this year, after dominating his regional qualifiers to take part in all 2017 European Tour events to date.

Ratajski partners Kanik, one of only two Polish players in World Cup history not called Krzysztof, this year for the first time.

Poland will hope to do a lot better than when they lost 5-0 to upcoming opponents Republic of Ireland in 2015.

Russia

2017 team: Boris Koltsov (3rd appearance) and Aleksandr Oreshkin (2nd)

Past players: Anastasia Dobromyslova (2010), Roman Konchikov (2010), Evgenii Zhukov (2014), Evgenii Izotov (2014), Aleksei Kadochnikov (2015)

Past appearances: 4 (2010, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Hong Kong (June 1, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Hong Kong, Australia, Wales, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Female player Dobromyslova has been the face of Russian darts for many years, and even took part in the 2010 World Cup when they beat Gibraltar.

Russia haven’t won a match since Dobromyslova’s only appearance, despite having now used seven players throughout the years.

Current pairing Koltsov and the eccentric Oreshkin are the only duo to have taken part in this event multiple times, and play together for the second year in succession.

It’s fair to say Russia have been very unlucky, however, as they were drawn against the Netherlands, Australia and Australia the last three years.

They finally have a winnable tie this time around, but still shouldn’t underestimate Hong Kong.

Scotland (1st seeds)

2017 team: Gary Anderson (6th appearance) and Peter Wright (4th)

Past players: Robert Thornton (2010, 2013, 2014, 2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2015)

First 2017 opponents: Singapore (June 1, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Singapore, Spain, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 6/4 (2nd favourites)

More info
Scotland are top seeds for a very good reason, that Anderson and Wright are numbers two and three respectively in the PDC rankings.

Between them, they’ll be making their 10th World Cup appearance in total, but this will only be the third time they’ve been paired together.

They are known not to be the best of friends, but they’re both highly professional and driven so will be sure to put disagreements to one side as they chase a maiden triumph in this tournament.

Anderson and Wright teamed up when Scotland were runners-up in 2015, and have both arguably gone up a level or two since – particularly Snakebite, who is perhaps the form player of 2017.

Singapore are their first opponents, as they were when they beat them 5-1 in 2015 on the way to reaching the final.

Singapore

2017 team: Paul Lim (4th appearance) and Harith Lim (4th)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2014, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Scotland (June 1, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Scotland, Spain, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Singapore are taking part in their fourth World Cup, and have always been represented by Paul and Harith Lim (not related).

The former will always have a place in darting folklore, having thrown the first-ever World Championship nine-darter way back in 1990.

He may now be 63 years old, but still has the ability to trouble the best in the world – as he did when he rattled Van Gerwen in last year’s Shanghai Masters.

Singapore have reached the second round twice from their three appearances, when they upset the Republic of Ireland (in 2014) and South Africa (2016).

Their only opening round defeat was to Scotland, 5-1, but they face them first again.

South Africa

2017 team: Devon Petersen (6th appearance) and Deon Oliver (debut)

Past players: Shawn Hogan (2012, 2013), Charl Pietersen (2013), Graham Filby (2014, 2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2012, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Sweden (June 2, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Sweden, England, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
South Africa nearly always make an impression at the World Cup, and have even twice reached the quarters against the odds.

That is mainly down to their star player Petersen, though he did also miscount in 2012 against Wales which ultimately cost them a place in the semis.

The only African nation to have taken part in this event lost in the opening round for the first time last year, losing 5-1 to Singapore, but Petersen and dubutant Oliver will hope to get back to winning ways when they take on Sweden.

Will they regret picking talented youngster Warrick Scheffer, who was unable to take part in South Africa’s qualifiers to partner Petersen, though?

Spain

2017 team: Cristo Reyes (3rd appearance) and Antonio Alcinas (7th)

Past players: Carlos Rodriguez (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Japan (June 1, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Japan, Scotland, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 100/1

More info
While Alcinas has taken part in all six of Spain’s previous World Cup campaigns and helped them to the semis in 2010, Reyes is well and truly the star of the team.

The Canary Islands native is only playing in his third tournament, but has established himself as a top player on the PDC circuit.

Spain put in decent showings the last two years with this current pair, and should have enough quality to knock out Japan.

They likely face a second round battle with top seeds Scotland, who they’ve surprisingly beaten both times they’ve met in the World Cup (in 2010 and 2013). Gary Anderson was present on those occasions too.

Sweden

2017 team: Magnus Caris (7th appearance) and Daniel Larsson (3rd)

Past players: Par Riihonen (2010, 2013), Dennis Nilsson (2012), Peter Sajwani (2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2012, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: South Africa (June 2, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: South Africa, England, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Veteran Caris has been in the game longer than most, and is still going strong, having recently reached the 2017 Gibraltar Trophy quarters.

The 48-year-old has played in every World Cup to date, and partners Larsson for the third straight year.

They are still without a win together, though, having suffered disappointing defeats to Hungary and fellow Scandinavians Denmark.

Caris will hope his recent resurgence in the game can inspire to his fourth World Cup first round win.

Switzerland

2017 team: Patrick Rey (debut) and Philipp Ruckstuhl (debut)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: Debut

Best performance: N/A

First 2017 opponents: Brazil (June 2, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Brazil, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Switzerland were only handed their World Cup debut this year after Latvia pulled out at the last minute, and they’ll hope to seize their opportunity with both hands.

They face fellow first timers Brazil, but go into the clash as slight outsiders.

Their best-known player Thomas Junghans was originally named in their two-man team, but the 2015 BDO World Masters semi-finalist was later replaced by Rey.

It could be a low-scoring, but tense first round affair with Brazil.

Thailand

2017 team: Thanawat Gaweenuntawong (4th appearance) and Attapol Eupakaree (3rd)

Past players: Watanyu Charoonroj (2014)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round (2014, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Greece (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Greece, Belgium, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Thailand and Gaweenuntawong are playing in their fourth World Cup, with Eupakaree his partner for the third successive year.

The nation are still winless, but have faced England and Northern Ireland in tough first round battles.

They have a decent chance against Greece this year, but are still rated the outsiders.

USA

2017 team: Darin Young (7th appearance) and Larry Butler (5th)

Past players: Bill Davis (2010), Gary Mawson (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/quarter-finals (2010, 2012)

First 2017 opponents: Italy (June 2, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Butler is another blast from the past to take part in this year’s World Cup, as he’ll be forever known as the first person to win the World Matchplay (back in 1994).

The Eagle knows his teammate Young very well, having played in this competition together a total of four times – as well as in many other events back in their homeland.

However, Young was partnered with others for the USA’s best runs to date in this tournament (in 2010 and 2012) in reaching the last eight.

They should certainly have no troubles against Italy, but won’t be looking forward to a probable second round duel with the Netherlands, who they lost to 5-2 in 2015.

Wales (4th seeds)

2017 team: Gerwyn Price (2nd appearance) and Mark Webster (7th)

Past players: Barrie Bates (2010), Richie Burnett (2012, 2013, 2014), Jamie Lewis (2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Finland (June 1, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Finland, Ireland/Poland, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 33/1 (joint-5th favourites)
The final team of our 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles is Wales, who like Northern Ireland have a side capable of causing an upset.

Also like their fellow British country, they have a good blend of hungry and in-form talent (Price) and someone with great big stage experience (2008 BDO world champion and 2010 World Cup finalist Webster).

The duo didn’t quite hit it off as well as Gurney and Dolan last year, as they lost out to Canada in the second round, but 2017 UK Open runner-up Price in particular has improved a great amount.

Wales have a favourable-looking first couple of rounds this year compared to others, and certainly have a great chance of beating Australia and reaching the semis, if either get that far.

2017 Dubai Masters preview.

2017 Dubai Duty Free Masters: Preview

2017 Dubai Masters preview.
2017 Dubai Masters preview. Gary Anderson starts his title defence against Phil Taylor, who is yet to win the event.
Photo: PDC

Anderson defends title, as Price makes World Series bow

With the 2017 Premier League season now over, it’s time for the World Series of Darts to take place, and the Dubai Duty Free Masters kicks it all off from May 24–25.

Set in the open-air Dubai Tennis Centre, it provides a unique experience for the eight arrowmsiths each year, as they have to battle with the scorching weather and breeze – as well as their superstar opponent.

This edition of the event marks a World Series debut for Welshman Gerwyn Price, while Gary Anderson is defending champion and Michael van Gerwen will be keen to win back the title he claimed the first three years here.

MvG takes on Raymond van Barneveld in a tussle of Dutch giants, The Flying Scotsman duels with all-time great Phil Taylor, Price goes up against James Wade, and Peter Wright and Dave Chisnall lock horns in the other fixture.

So, read on as Sam Barnard provides a 2017 Dubai Masters preview for Darts World, of the first round fixtures in order of play on Wednesday…

James Wade (4) v Gerwyn Price

Former professional rugby player Price, who still keeps in great shape, may well be the most suited to these Dubai conditions than the rest of the draw so it will be intriguing to see how he gets on.

The Welshman, who is on the verge of breaking into the PDC’s top 16 after a terrific year which included reaching the UK Open final, has been handed a favourable tie too against fourth seed Wade.

Englishman Wade has won three of their five meetings, including last time out this year at the German Darts Masters, but Price has had the better and more profitable 2017 to date.

On top of that, the Machine has only won once in Dubai, which was way back in the inaugural edition in 2013, when he defeated Simon Whitlock. He then convincing lost out to Raymond van Barneveld.

Peter Wright (3) v Dave Chisnall

Snakebite has seemingly put the disappointment of missing out on a Premier League title well behind him, as he bounced back immediately in the very next tournament to win Players Championship 11.

The in-form Scot also managed a huge 120.71 average in his semi-final along the way, and will be determined to keep it up and collect more silverware.

He is yet to claim a World Series trophy, though did reach the final here in 2014.

As for Chisnall, he too is in decent form, and still leads Wright 11-9 in meetings – though has won only two of their last eight.

Chizzy is making just his third appearance here, and has reached the semis on both occasions. He lost out to Wright 11-8, though, when they battled in somewhat of a poor quality affair in 2014.

Gary Anderson (2) v Phil Taylor

PDC chairman Eddie Hearn has stated that he’d love to still be able to invite the retiring Taylor to World Series events in 2018, but it remains to be seen if he accepts the offer or not.

So, we are still not certain if this will be The Power’s last appearance in Dubai, but one thing’s for sure: he’ll certainly want to win this trophy, as it’s one of the very few he is yet to get his hands on.

Taylor did reach the final in 2015, beating Anderson along the way in the semis, but then lost out to Van Gerwen.

This duo battled last year too at the same stage. On that occasion The Flying Scotsman prevailed, and went on to beat MvG.

That sets up an intriguing fight this time around, particularly as the pair were both losing Premier League semi-finalists recently too.

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Raymond van Barneveld

The Dubai Masters organisers have saved the best until last on day one. MvG v Barney is always an unmissable occasion, and this should be no different.

Mighty Mike has got the better of his Dutch compatriot over the years, but Van Barneveld has caused troubles for his young pretender on more than a few occasions.

Barney has actually won two of their last World Series meetings, but lost out to him 10-8 here in 2015.

The Dutch duo also met in the first ever Dubai Masters final in 2013, and again MvG came out on top.

Van Barneveld hasn’t won a match here since, as he narrowly lost to the eventual champions (Anderson and Van Gerwen) the last two years.

Player thoughts

Wade: “I don’t think anyone enjoys the heat and the conditions but everyone has to do the same thing. It’s the same for every player and I can’t wait.”

Wright: “My plan is to come here and win. I want to make up for losing out in the Premier League so I’m going to try and win this one.

“I think Chizzy is probably playing the best darts of anyone else and you just have to look at the end of the Premier League, when he was unbeaten in seven games, so I’ve got a very hard game.”

Meanwhile, on World Series debutant Price, Wright added: “It’s Gerwyn’s first time and it will be interesting to see how he deals with the heat on stage, but he’s a professional sportsman so he should be alright.

“You’re not sure how the darts are going to fly up there so I’m going to take two sets of darts with me on stage. If one doesn’t go, and the others don’t go, then I’m in real trouble!”

Anderson: “It’s a tough game. Phil beat me the last time we played in the Premier League so it will be hard game, and he’ll be trying his damnedest because this is his last year.

“It’s nice to get over to Dubai and be back here. Winning the event last year was a great memory and I’d love to do it again.”

Van Gerwen: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a fantastic tournament for me and I’ve always played well over here.

“Last year I let Gary Anderson walk away with the trophy, unfortunately I made a few mistakes, but I’m here to try to get it back again.

“That’s what you need to aim for, keep your confidence high and make sure you perform well and also prepare well because you need to get used to the heat again. I feel comfortable about it.”

Van Barneveld: “There were no easy draws and you know what you’ve got to do – play your best. To beat Michael, the Premier League champion and world champion, is going to be tough so I hope I play well tomorrow.

“Mike is a machine but someone has to stop him and why not me? If there is one player in darts that can beat him it’s me, I’ve shown that for the last two or three years.”

2017 Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters

Draw bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Raymond van Barneveld
James Wade (4) v Gerwyn Price
Gary Anderson (2) v Phil Taylor
Peter Wright (3) v Dave Chisnall

Schedule
Wednesday May 24
Quarter-finals (best of 19 legs)

Thursday May 25
Semi-finals (best of 21 legs)

Final (best of 21 legs)

Betway odds

Tournament winner
4/6 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Peter Wright
11/2 Gary Anderson
14/1 Phil Taylor
20/1 Dave Chisnall
25/1 Raymond van Barneveld
33/1 James Wade
80/1 Gerwyn Price

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Subject to fluctuation.

Tickets: www.dubai-darts.com

2017 Premier League play-offs preview.

2017 Betway Premier League Play-offs: Preview and Stats

2017 Premier League play-offs preview.
Only one of these four stars can walk away with the trophy. Read Darts World’s in-depth thoughts in our 2017 Premier League play-offs preview.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Who will be crowned 2017 PL champion?

The 2017 betway Premier League play-offs are finally upon us, after 15 gruelling and entertaining weeks of top quality darting action!

Just four men remain – Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson (in table order) – and between them have 10 titles in this competition, with just Snakebite hunting for his first.

Defending champion MVG and fellow two-time PL winner The Flying Scotsman take to the oche first in a colossal opening clash. While, in-form play-offs debutant Wright and retiring six-time victor The Power will face off in the other semi-final.

No player has beaten the other twice this Premier League season, which makes the occasion all the more intriguing, as they all aim to claim the prestigious trophy and £250k prize.

So, read on as Sam Barnard provides a 2017 Premier League play-offs preview for Darts World, while TheRedBit has come up with some detailed photo stats.

Note that the semis are now first to 10 legs, and the final is first to 11.

Get ready for Finals Night too by taking our Premier League participants quiz, as well as checking out our overall regular season analysis.

Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Van Gerwen beat Anderson in their previous PL semi, but lost in the 2015 final to the Scotsman.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Anderson will have been left kicking himself after letting Taylor finish above him in the table, as he now faces Anderson in the semis instead. Though, at least he has the chance to knock the reigning champion out early.

This is the second week in succession the duo go head-to-head in the PL, as Mighty Mike won 7-4 last time out in Aberdeen. Both averaged over 100, and fans at the O2 will be hoping for a similar quality match-up by both this Thursday.

In 11 Premier League meetings, MvG is 6-3 up (with two draws), but they drew earlier this season. Scotsman Anderson won their most crucial duel of them all 11-7 in the 2015 final to claim his second title, though lost the only time they faced off in the semis (in 2014, 8-7).

Van Gerwen has the outstanding record of now having topped the league in all five seasons he’s played in, and has reached the final every year too – meaning the Dutchman’s never lost a semi-final!

Anderson, meanwhile, may not have been in as consistent form this campaign, finishing fourth, but did manage the second-highest overall average – with 102.16 – behind only Mighty Mike.

Whatever the outcome, expect there to be only a couple legs in it, as well as 180s galore!

Peter Wright v Phil Taylor

Will in-form Wright reach the final? Or does Taylor have one more Major title triumph in him?
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

This duo are not as rapid throwers as Van Gerwen or Anderson, but can still produce a match of similar quality.

Wright has finally made it to the play-offs at the fourth time of asking, while Taylor will be aiming to reach the final for an incredible ninth time in 13 years.

The Power may have a superior 20-9 career record over Snakebite, but the Scot has lost only one of their seven Premier League meetings – with three wins and as many draws. Taylor’s only PL victory against Wright came earlier this season (7-5), but he then lost to him 7-3 in Week 13.

With the all-time great retiring at the start of 2018, this duo’s career peaks are at completely opposite ends. Snakebite finally won his first Major (the UK Open) this year, and looks as though he’ll claim many more, while The Power’s only singles TV title since 2014 was the Champions League of Darts – which is not classified as a Major – last September.

You’d have to say that Wright, therefore, has the edge in this semi-final, as his odds with bookmakers also suggest.

But you just never know with Taylor, who’ll be determined to claim one last notable trophy before he hangs up his arrows. He is, after all, the only one of this year’s semi-finalists to have beaten Van Gerwen in the league this season – the other was Raymond van Barneveld.

Player statistics

Player thoughts

Van Gerwen: “It’s time for business now. I feel good and I know I’m playing well – I had a good game when I had to play well last against Gary and I have to do the same tomorrow night.

“They know what they have to do to beat me if they want to win the tournament, but I need to make sure I hold them off by playing some good darts and putting them under pressure.

“It’s four good players and you can’t let them have a sniff of the trophy, because if you give them a finger they will take your hand. I want to win the trophy again and it would be really special if I can.”

Anderson: “It would be nice to win it again and if I play well I’ve got a good chance.

“You’ve got to beat everyone that’s in front of you and whoever turns up on the night is going to walk away with the trophy.

“It’s always going to be hard anyway but it’s going to be interesting because it’s Phil’s last, it’s Peter’s first time here and both me and Michael have won it twice, so it’s all to play for.”

Wright: “I’ve been close to the Play-offs before but I’ve made it this time, and I want to go and win the Premier League now. I’ve seen these great guys win it in recent years and I want to be one of those great guys too.

“To be in the top four alongside Phil, Michael and Gary is immense and I’m really happy with how the season has gone.

“I’m still learning and there are times this year that I’ve changed things to improve too. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I know how to beat people now, especially Michael because he’s the man we all want to beat.

“You have to believe in your own ability and that what you do on the practice board you can do on the stage against him and anyone else in the world.”

Taylor: “Getting into the top four has been the aim all year so I’m delighted to have got through and I’d love to go on and win this now, but there’s no pressure on me.

“Peter’s been in brilliant form all year so I know what to expect, but this is his first time in the semi-finals so I don’t know how he’s feeling.

“I’ve approached the whole season in the same way and I’ll go up there to enjoy myself. It would be fantastic if I could win this title again, the perfect way to finish in the Premier League.”

Betway odds

Tournament winner
4/7 Michael van Gerwen
9/2 Peter Wright
5/1 Gary Anderson
11/1 Phil Taylor

Semi-final match odds
1/3 Michael van Gerwen v 9/4 Gary Anderson
8/15 Peter Wright v 6/4 Phil Taylor

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Subject to fluctuation.

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via www.axs.com

2017 Premier League season stats.

Betway Premier League – 2017 Season Stats

2017 Premier League season stats.
Check out our in-depth 2017 Premier League season stats, of all 10 players.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Ahead of the 2017 betway Premier League Darts play-offs this Thursday at London’s O2 Arena, check out some intriguing stats from the regular season with Darts World.

@TheRedBit180 provides in-depth analysis for all 10 players’ scoring, checkouts and efficiency throughout the 15 previous weeks.

From doubles percentages and 180s thrown, to a more detailed maximums per leg averages and more, we have it all below. Enjoy!

Betway Premier League – Week 15 Post Match Statistics

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN defeated Gary Anderson 7-4 to top the Betway Premier League table for a fifth successive season, as Phil Taylor claimed the final Play-Off place on Thursday in Aberdeen.

Peter Wright’s 7-1 win over Raymond van Barneveld at the GE Oil & Gas Arena had left Van Gerwen needing to defeat Anderson if the Dutchman was to claim the £25,000 League Winner’s Bonus.

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy stats.

Gibraltar Darts Trophy – The stats

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy stats.
Darts World provide a whole host of Gibraltar Darts Trophy stats, ahead of this year’s European Tour 5 event.
Photo: Sam Barnard

Gibraltar Darts Trophy stats

Ahead of the 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy (European Tour 5), which will be its fifth edition, Sam Barnard provides all the stats you need to know about the PDC Pro Tour event for Darts World!

Taking place from May 12-14 at the usual Victoria Stadium, in front of the jaw-dropping Rock of Gibraltar, 44 of the 48 competitors are now confirmed – with four home nation qualifiers to be decided on May 11.

The likes of defending champion Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld are all absent from this year’s edition, but there are still a host of top names such as Premier League stars Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Dave Chisnall present.

So, read on for our Gibraltar Darts Trophy stats guide, based on from when it started in 2013 until the current 2017 edition…

General stats

Most titles (2): Michael van Gerwen
Most appearances (5): Steve Beaton, Kim Huybrechts, Justin Pipe, James Wade, Simon Whitlock, Ian White, Peter Wright
Highest average (115.31): Phil Taylor v Gino Vos, round 1 in 2013
Best home nation performance (QF): Dyson Parody in 2016
Best home nation average (96.52): Dyson Parody v Michael van Gerwen, quarter-finals in 2016

Previous finals

2016: Michael van Gerwen 6-2 Dave Chisnall
2015: Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Terry Jenkins
2014: James Wade 6-4 Steve Beaton
2013: Phil Taylor 6-1 Jamie Lewis

Gibraltarian home nation wins

Dyson Parody 6-0 Henry Zapata (Gib) in round 1 (2014)
Antony Lopez 6-3 John Duo (Gib) in round 1 (2015)
Dyson Parody 6-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode in round 1 (2016)
Dyson Parody 6-5 Jelle Klaasen in last 32 (2016)
Dyson Parody 6-4 Max Hopp in last 16 (2016)

Highest averages (top 5)

1. Phil Taylor (115.31) in 2013 in R1
2. Phil Taylor (112.73) in 2013 in QF
3. Dave Chisnall (111.26) in 2013 in last 16
4. Dave Chisnall (110.58) in 2016 in last 16
5. Michael van Gerwen (109.98) in 2016 in SF

Total money won (top 5)

1. (£54,250) Michael van Gerwen
2. (£31,000) James Wade
3. (£21,250) Phil Taylor
4. (£19,000) Dave Chisnall
5. (£16,500) Kim Huybrechts

Prize fund

2013: £100,000 (£20,000 to the winner)
2014: £100,000 (£20,000 to the winner)
2015: £115,000 (£25,000 to the winner)
2016: £115,000 (£25,000 to the winner)
2017: £135,000 (£25,000 to the winner)

Represented nations

2013: (12) Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales
2014: (11) Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales
2015: (11) Australia, Austria, Belgium, England, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Wales
2016: (11) Australia, Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales
2017: (13) Australia, Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Wales

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy betting

Tournament winner

15/8 Peter Wright
8/1 Dave Chisnall
9/1 Adrian Lewis
14/1 Mensur Suljovic
16/1 James Wade
20/1 Benito van de Pas, Kim Huybrechts, Simon Whitlock
22/1 Daryl Gurney
25/1 Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price, Jelle Klaasen
33/1 Alan Norris, Ian white
40/1 Cristo Reyes, Joe Cullen

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of Paddy Power. Odds subject to fluctuation.

Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Stats

Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Statistics

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN could secure the Betway Premier League’s top spot when he doubles up in Birmingham tonight, as Peter Wright bids to seal his Play-Off place.

World Champion Van Gerwen has topped the league table in each of his previous four seasons in the Premier League, going on to take the trophy in 2013 and 2016 by winning the final.

The Dutchman sits two points clear of Wright going into Night 13 at the Barclaycard Arena, and plays twice as he faces Dave Chisnall and Adrian Lewis.

Van Gerwen could end the night with an unassailable lead at the top of the standings, earning him the £25,000 League Winner’s Bonus – an achievement he is bidding to ensure he completes.

We have put together the following stats ahead of all of tonight’s games in association with RedBit.

Betway Premier League - Week 13 Preview Stats

Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Stats Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Stats Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Stats Betway Premier League – Week 13 Preview Stats