Darts fans, get ready to be happy! The 2017 Premier League Darts season gets underway at the Metro Centre, Newcastle and it’s going to be another fantastic season with plenty of ups and downs and perhaps the odd surprise. There have been four different winners in the past five years so the current champion Michael van Gerwen is expected to have to work especially hard if he wants to hang on to his title.
Michael van Gerwen, the current PDC World Darts Champion had a record breaking 2016, winning 25 titles and again will be the man to beat. In the first round, he faces Gary Anderson, the Scotsman he beat in the 2017 World final. Gary Anderson is only one of a few that pushed Michael in 2016 and the odds of Gary turning the table on Michael look favourable see the Stan James offers.
The ten-man line up includes some regular PDC favourites. The top four from the PDC order of merit; Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis. These four are joined by two Sky Sports Wild Card entries Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor both of whom have lifted the Premier league title and have a total of 21 World titles between them. The last four players are made up of the PDC’s wild card entries; James Wade again a former Premier League champion, Dave Chisnall the player that has always threatened to be a major champion, Jelle Klaasen the fomer BDO World Champion and Kim Huybrects the Belgium No 1 and on form player.
The rules for the premier league are straight forward. The best of 12 legs are played between the players. If a player wins they receive 2 points, a draw 6-6 means each player receives a single point each. At the end of 9 weeks the two players will the lowest accumulative points are eliminated. The round is commonly known as ‘Judgment Night’. Should the bottom few players draw on points their legs difference is taken into consideration, the most legs won will see them through however should this again equal legs against the throw will be taken into consideration.
The remaining players play on until week fifteen. The top four then move onto the final week, the play-off’s at the London’s O2 Area.
Although the favourite will be the defending champion Michael van Gerwen an argument can be made for most of the players. The now veteran of the sport, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor has won the Premier League six times and he beat the odds on favourite Michael van Gerwen last year in a World Tour event in Australian. Taylor is a player that no one should write off as he has proved time and time again.
Peter Wright, one of the most popular and entertaining players on the PDC circuit is still looking for that elusive title. He came close during 2016 but it was again the Dutch Green Machine that mainly shattered his dreams. 2017 could be a good year for Peter as many pundits reckon he is due a title win and with his hunger to succeed he could be the player to lift the Premier League title for 2017.
The 2017 Premier League also sees the return of Kim Huybrects. He first played the Premier League in 2015 and although he was an early casualty that year most of his matches were narrow defeats. This year however Kim looks better and with experience under his belt may well be the dark horse amongst the group. Plenty of his supporters and punters will be backing Kim to make an upset or two!
Jelle Klassen also enters the Premier League for the second time. Jelle first appeared in 2009 but hasn’t made the grade until now. A return to form has earned Jelle a place in the 2017 line up and he is looking to make an impression. His fast throw can dominate a match and can also be his downfall. From moments of brilliance, the odd dart can sometimes fly astray, giving his opponents the opportunity to capitalise on his inconstancy. But when Jelle is on form, players beware, Jelle is dangerous and more than capable of beating all that are in front of him.
For the remaining players, all have a chance and probably Adrian Lewis is likely to lead the remaining few. Adrian currently ranked four in the PDC order of Merit hasn’t shown his best form in recent months but like Taylor he is a player that can suddenly turn a poor performance around a destroy his opponent. James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld both of whom have lifted the Premier League title, 2009 and 2014 respectively, both know what it takes to win however 2017 Premier League line-up looks like it could be one of the toughest titles to win.
|PDC Order of Merit||Sky Sports (Wild Cards)||PDC (Wild Cards)|
|Michael van Gerwen||Phil Taylor||James Wade|
|Gary Anderson||Raymond van Barneveld||Dave Chisnall|
|Peter Wright||Jelle Klaasen|
|Adrian Lewis||Kim Huybrects|
|Winner £250,000||Seventh Place £50,000|
|Runner-Up £120,000||Eighth Place £45,000|
|Semi-Finalists £80,000||Ninth Place £30,00|
|Fifth Place £65,000||Tenth Place £25,000|
|Sixth Place £55,000||League Leader's Bonus £25,000|
For more information please visit the PDC Website