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We preview the Players Championship from Doncaster that starts on Thursday. We pipe up with what

The err 2011 Players Championship

Posted: 06.12.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

We preview the Players Championship from Doncaster that starts on Thursday. We pipe up with what's in it for the Darts Performance Centre?


The Players Championship is back again, it doesn’t seem like a year ago does it? Time flies when you are having fun at the darts! Oh hang on, the reason it doesn’t seem like a year ago is because it isn’t! Last year's Players Championship was actually this year - February 2011 when Taylor beat Anderson 13:12 in the final. It was also the first year the competition was held at the Doncaster Dome.

This could be a potentially baffling pub quiz question then-who was the 2011 Players Championship winner? 

The only other two Players Championship events were held in January 2009 and 2010 at the Circus Tavern. In 2010 “The Asset” beat “The King” in the final having also taken the scalp of “The Power” on the way to claiming his first major. At the inaugural event in 2009 Phil Taylor beat Robert Thornton 16:9.

We do like to have a little bit of fun on occasions trying to decipher how some players qualify for PDC televised events. The Grand Slam is a great example of the “mish-mash “of players who somehow get an invite to play in that event. The Players Championship has no such back doors. It is the top 32 players from the PDC 1 year Order of Merit . This is made up from money won at the “bread and butter” Players Championship floor events played over a PDC season.


So what is in it for us at The Darts Performance Centre? Well just the qualification parameters are good enough for us. Essentially you have the top 32 “form” players on the PDC circuit at one event. There is no room for players “defending” money from a previous tournament or any of the other complicated calculations and arguably unfair merit systems that selects dart players for other events.

There is one noticeable absentee from the main order of merit; “Jackpot” didn’t make it due to missing a number of the floor events and not making the cut. A lesson for all top players not to become too complacent about making it to this event. 

The perfect example of a “form” player and also a player who underpins our point about defending money is the number one seed Justin Pipe. He has amassed £44,800 in winnings to top the one year order of merit but is only in 26th place in the 2 year order of merit. OK he hasn’t been around long and has not always played as well as he can in TV events but it also demonstrates how tough it is for players to break into the main order of merit and become a member of the exclusive top 32 club.

Mind you the difference between success at TV events and winning floor events is like comparing the difference between practising at home, hitting everything and then trying to replicate that form in a competitive match. They don’t always follow. 

We will be focused on whether the form players can come through.  Is the number one seed winning the event just a “pipe dream” or will The Power, who is surely the most dangerous adversary for the rest of the field make our baffling  pub quiz question  redundant by winning the 2011 title for the second time, this year!


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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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