Starting on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the New Year-spanning PDC World Championships is the most sought after trophy in world darts.
This year’s tournament is the 30th organised by the Professional Darts Corporation since it separated from the now-defunct British Darts Organisation and has been taking place at London’s Alexandra Palace, better known to fans as the Ally Pally.
Scotland’s Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright is the defending champion, but will pass the crown to either Michael Smith or Michael van Gerwen who will challenge for the title this evening.
Smith and Van Gerwen were among 95 of the best players on the planet who started the tournament, a number whittled down to two ahead of a repeat of the 2019 final.
Smith has yet to win a world title, but Van Gerwen was champion in 2014, 2017 and 2019. Tonight’s winner will also take over as the new world number one.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is the prize money?
The tournament winner will receive a cheque for a hefty £500,000, more than double the £200,000 that the runner-up will get.
Semi-finalists received £100,000, quarter-finalists £50,000, fourth round losers £35,000, third round losers £25,000, second round losers £15,000, and first round losers £7,500.
What is the format of the matches?
Darts matches are made up of legs and sets, with each set being the best of five legs (the first to three legs taking the set).
The first two rounds are the best of five sets (first to three), while the third and fourth rounds are the best of seven sets (first to four).
The quarter-finals are the best of nine sets (first to five), the semi-finals the best of 11 sets (first to six) and the final a marathon best of 13 sets (first to seven).
For all rounds except the first, the deciding set has to be won by two clear legs, up until 5–5, when a sudden-death leg will be played
What is the format of the competition?
The 32 highest ranked players on the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit (who have not also qualified from the main PDC Order of Merit) and 32 qualifiers from around the world will play 32 matches in the first round.
The winners of those matches will then take on the 32 highest ranked players from the PDC Order of Merit, who effectively receive a bye to the second round.
From the second round on it’s a straightforward knockout tournament.
What’s the tournament schedule?
In the early stages of the tournament there are eight matches each day, split into two sessions. As the length of the games increase, and the number of players remaining in the competition decrease, fewer games are played in each session.
First round matches start on the the evening of Thursday, December 15, and continue until Wednesday, 21 December.
The first of the second round matches, featuring former champion Raymond van Barneveld, takes place on the evening of Tuesday, December 20, with round 2 concluding on Friday, December 23.
The third round takes place between December 27-29, and the fourth from December 29-30.
The eight quarter-finalists will clash over two session on Sunday, January 1, swiftly followed by the semi-finals the next day.
The winner will be crowned after the final on Tuesday, January 3, starting at 8pm.
Was Fallon Sherrock playing?
Fallon Sherrock, who famously became the first female player to win a match at the PDC World Championships in 2019 (going on to win a second, beating Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljović respectively) will play in the tournament.
She qualified after the PDC last month decided to retrospectively declare that winners of the Women's World Matchplay – which Sherrock triumphed in earlier this year – would automatically earn a spot at the World Champiopnships.
She’s one of three women to qualify for the tournament – joining four-time BDO Women's World Champion Lisa Ashton and reigning WDF Women's World Champion Beau Greaves in the first round.
How can I watch the PDC Darts World Championship Final?
Live coverage of every day of the World Darts Championship will be broadcast exclusively live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.
You don't have to be a subscriber to watch – daily, weekly and monthly Sky Sports passes are available on the NOW TV platform from £5.99.
Who is favourite to win?
Michael van Gerwin was favourite to take the title from the off, with odds of 5/2, followed by Gerwyn Price (6/1) and Michael Smith (15/2).
Check out all the leading contenders here.