BDO v PDC – the eternal struggle for darts fans loyalty! Amateur v Professional, grass-roots v wealth, The Power v Wolfie (perhaps). Whatever you may think of each organisation, the prospect of seeing how four of the biggest names on the BDO circuit perform against their PDC counterparts is an intriguing one.
Original cover photo, courtesy of Pieter Veerbek, dartsjournalist.com
Martin Adams, Scott Mitchell, Martin Phillips and Geert de Vos all accepted their invitations from the PDC to compete earlier in the year.
Martin Phillips has previously competed three times at the Grand Slam of Darts, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, only getting further than the group stages once, in 2011, before losing 10 – 8 to Mark Webster in the last 16.
Martin Adams on the other hand has famously refused previous invitations to play in the event, despite being invited a number of times and I thinks it’s fair to say that his appearance this year is the most interesting of them all.
Not only do these four invitees get to pit their wits against van Gerwen, Anderson and Wade, but so will four qualifiers from the BDO and NDB qualifying tournaments in October. These eight will then travel to Wolverhampton in November to compete against 24 of the best that the PDC can muster.
All you have to do to qualify for the Grand Slam of Darts, is pay twenty quid (before 29th September), rock up at Hull on 6th October, take one of the two qualifying spots on the day and bobs-your-uncle, you’re on the telly, simple! If, however, you’re lucky enough to be all continental, then you will need to qualify in Eindhoven on 18th October.
The total prize fund is £450,000 with the winner picking up £100,000 last year – so not a bad return on £20!
The Grand Slam of Darts is played as a round-robin format with eight groups of four players in the First Round, with the remaining rounds all being more ‘traditional’ straight knock-out affairs.
Six PDC players have competed in all eight Grand Slam of Darts events to date – Taylor, Wade, Anderson, King, van Barneveld and Lewis. Taylor is the current champion and in fact has won the event six times out of eight, only van Barneveld and Scott Waites have won it other than Taylor since its inaugural running in 2007.
If, as I suspect, you don’t qualify in Eindhoven or Hull, you’ll be relying on a ticket purchase to secure your place at the event.
Tournament tickets go on sale next week for the nine day event at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, from November 7th. To be precise, they go on sale to LivePDC.tv Annual Subscribers on Monday 3rd August and on general sale from Wednesday 5th August. Visit PDC.tv for full ticket information.
If you don’t qualify, and can’t get tickets, fear not, all rounds and matches will be televised live on Sky Sports.
Thanks for reading, Simon.