The top 64 stars from the Players Championship Order of Merit will descend on Butlin's Minehead Resort between November 24 and 26 for the Mr Green Players Championship Finals.
One notable absentee will be 16-time world champion Phil Taylor who opted not to play on this year’s Pro Tour Circuit as his winds down his career before retiring after the World Championship.
All eyes will be on world number one Michael van Gerwen who, after taking some time off for the birth of his first child, is now sweeping all before him once again.
The Dutchman claimed a third successive Grand Slam of Darts title at the weekend, taking down Peter Wright 16-12 in the final having demolished ‘The Power’ in the semi-finals.
He also retained his European Championship and World Series of Darts crowns in November and is priced at around 10/11 to lift the trophy for a fourth time in Somerset.
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‘The Flying Scotsman’ was narrowly beaten by Wright in the Wolverhampton semis and seemed to be throwing with the same rhythm and deadly accuracy as when he won back-to-back world titles.
He will surely have a say in proceedings in the South West, while it is impossible to look ahead to any event these days without mentioning ‘Snakebite’, such is Wright’s consistency.
The Scottish-born thrower has taken his game to a new level in 2017 and opened his major account with UK Open glory.
The 47-year-old also reached the final of both the Premier League (where he had many match darts to win) and the World Matchplay, when Taylor rolled back the years to take the title.
He has never reached the Minehead final but maybe that will change this time around.
The usual suspects of Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and James Wade will be on view but there is a sense that the new breed of tungsten stars have already taken their place in the pecking order.
England’s Rob Cross got closest to MVG at the Civic Hall, going down 16-13 in the quarter-finals, and can be backed at 10/1 to win this weekend while Daryl Gurney (20/1) now looks a different player after claiming the World Grand Prix earlier in the season.
He was humbled by Taylor in the Grand Slam quarter-finals, however, and will need to regroup.
Lewis (40/1) has reached the final of the tournament twice, losing to Anderson in 2015 and van Gerwen the following year but, after a season to forget for ‘Jackpot’, he looks an unlikely winner at the holiday resort.
Dave Chisnall is a similar price to his fellow Englishman and is another former finalist, but will not look back at last year’s 16-3 towelling by the man in green with much fondness.
Van Gerwen looked a picture of happiness posing for photographers with his wife and baby in the West Midlands on Sunday evening and, having made it clear that he has already trained his sights on the Players Championship Finals, the other 63 players will need to raise their game to live with the world’s best.
|2009||Phil Taylor||16 - 9||Robert Thornton|
|2010||Paul Nicholson||13 - 11||Mervyn King|
|2011 (Feb)||Phil Taylor||13 - 12||Gary Anderson|
|2011 (Dec)||Kevin Painter||13 - 9||Mark Webster|
|2012||Phil Taylor||13 - 6||Kim Huybrechts|
|2013||Michael van Gerwen||11 - 7||Phil Taylor|
|2014||Gary Anderson||11 - 6||Adrian Lewis|
|2015||Michael van Gerwen||11 - 6||Adrian Lewis|
|2016||Michael van Gerwen||11 - 3||Dave Chisnall|
|2017||TBC||0 - 0||TBC|