BoyleSports Grand Slam Gets Underway.

The 2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts begins on Saturday at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton, as Gerwyn Price begins his title defence against Mikuru Suzuki on the opening day.

PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG ROUND 2 ROB CROSS V GLEN DURRANT GLEN DURRANT IN ACTION

The 13th staging of the cross-code event will see stars of the PDC and BDO going head-to-head across nine days of action from November 9-17.

The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

The group stage will take place across the opening four days, as the 32 players compete in a round-robin format.
 
Saturday afternoon’s opening session will feature the players in Groups E-H, who will also compete on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening, with Groups A-D in action on Saturday evening, Sunday evening and Tuesday evening.

A year on from his maiden televised title win, Price has revealed he is considering adopting a different on-stage style having been the target of boos from crowds ever since last year’s controversial final victory over Gary Anderson.

The Welsh number one has been drawn in Group C which features former Grand Slam runner-up Robert Thornton and reigning World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who hit a nine-dart finish on the Wolverhampton stage 12 months ago.

Price will take on reigning Lakeside Women’s Champion Mikuru Suzuki in an intriguing group opener, and the world number five explained his potential style change ahead of the encounter.

“I’m going to try to alter my game a bit, not for anybody else but for myself to make me play better,” Price told The Darts Show Podcast.

“I’ve learnt to try not to react to the crowd but it can be hard work at times when you’re trying to play within yourself.

“I’m doing really well on the floor events where you can’t really show emotion and be loud, except maybe at the end of games, so I’ve been thinking that if I play like that I will probably be a better player on stage.

“I didn’t think it would last the full 12 months – I thought It would be just a pantomime villain thing, a little bit of fun.

“The problem is it’s hard to keep calm at key stages when the crowd are making things difficult for you and it’s difficult to not let them know when you’ve hit a big shot.

“I’ve only been in the game for a short period of time and I’m still trying to find a way to be the best player I can be.”

Meanwhile, 2011 and 2018 runner-up Anderson has spoken of his desperation to lift the Grand Slam crown before the end of his career and avenge last year’s disappointment.

The two-time World Champion, who is joined only by James Wade in competing in every staging of the event since its inception in 2007, will is hoping 2019 will be the year he lifts the Eric Bristow Trophy and pockets the £125,000 winner’s prize.

“I’m desperate to win the Grand Slam before the end of my career,” explained Anderson, who will meet Dave Parletti in his first match in Group D.

“It’s my favourite tournament and it’s the first one I played in the PDC when I was still with the BDO.

“It’s been my favourite since day one and I’ve been there every single year so I’ve got to stick at it.

“I’ll be giving it a heck of a push to win that either this year or if not then definitely next year.”

Michael van Gerwen, a three-time Grand Slam champion from 2015-2017, has his sights set on regaining the title after winning the World Series of Darts Finals in Amsterdam last weekend.

Fresh from his latest triumph on home soil, the world number one – the 5/4 pre-tournament favourite with sponsors BoyleSports – is confident of taking his televised title tally to nine for 2019.

“As soon as I won in Amsterdam my head was already at the Grand Slam,” said Van Gerwen, who will take on BDO World Trophy champion Jim Williams in his Group A opener.

“I want to win anything I’m competing in, everyone knows what I’m capable of and what I can do. I know there’s more in the tank and I’m capable of doing more.

“I keep trying to do the thing what I’m good at and that’s playing darts. I love what I do and that’s really important as well.

“I feel good at the moment and I don’t think I’m far off my best form but I have to show it next week again to win the title.”

World Matchplay and World Grand Prix semi-finalist Glen Durrant will compete as one of the eight BDO representatives and he insists he holds no fear after being drawn in Group H, which is being dubbed ‘the group of death.’

The reigning, three-time Lakeside Champion will face World Championship runner-up Michael Smith in his opening game, before assignments against UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall and World Youth Championship runner-up Martin Schindler.

`’It’s being dubbed ‘the group of death’ but I’m fine with it,” Durrant declared.

“You’re never going to get an easy draw in the Grand Slam anyway but that opening game against Michael is going to be massive for me.

“It’s a great competition, I’ve loved every minute I’ve played in the Grand Slam and if I experience anything like the high I got at the World Matchplay then it will be an amazing feeling.

“I’m over the moon to be playing at the Grand Slam and I will be proud to represent the BDO as their World Champion for one last time.”

Following the conclusion of the group stage, the top two players from each group move through to the knockout stage of the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts.

The second round will be split across Wednesday and Thursday, with the quarter-finals being held on Friday and Saturday before the tournament concludes on Sunday November 17 with the semi-finals in the afternoon session and the final in the evening session.

2019 BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts
Schedule of Play
Saturday November 9
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Groups E-H First Matches
Nathan Aspinall v Martin Schindler (H)
Danny Noppert v Ryan Harrington (F)
Brendan Dolan v Gabriel Clemens (G)
Dave Chisnall v Jamie Hughes (E)
Daryl Gurney v Richard Veenstra (G)
Peter Wright v Wayne Warren (F)
Rob Cross v Lisa Ashton (E)
Michael Smith v Glen Durrant (H)

Evening Session (2000 GMT)
Groups A-D First Matches
Darren Webster v William O’Connor (D)
Gerwyn Price v Mikuru Suzuki (C)
Ian White v Steve Lennon (B)
Gary Anderson v Dave Parletti (D)
James Wade v Wesley Harms (B)
Michael van Gerwen v Jim Williams (A)
Adrian Lewis v Ross Smith (A)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Robert Thornton (C)

Sunday November 10
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Groups E-H Second Matches
Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Second Matches
Saturday’s winners face each other, and Saturday’s losers face each other.

Monday November 11 (1900 GMT)
Groups E-H Final Matches

Tuesday November 12 (1900 GMT)
Groups A-D Final Matches

Wednesday November 13 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4

Thursday November 14 (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4

Friday November 15 (1900 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2

Saturday November 16 (2000 GMT)
Quarter-Finals x2

Sunday November 17
Afternoon Session (1300 GMT)
Semi-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Final

Format
Group Stage – Best of nine legs
Second Round – Best of 19 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 31 legs
Final – Best of 31 legs

Prize fund
Winner – £125,000
Runner-up – £65,000
Semi-finalists – £40,000
Quarter-finalists – £20,000
Third in group – £7,500
Fourth in group – £4,000
Group winner bonus – £3,500

BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts Odds
Outright Winner
6/5 Michael van Gerwen
9/1 Rob Cross
10/1 Peter Wright
11/1 Gerwyn Price
12/1 Gary Anderson
18/1 Daryl Gurney
25/1 Michael Smith, Dave Chisnall, Nathan Aspinall, Glen Durrant
33/1 James Wade, Ian White
50/1 Dimitri Van den Bergh
66/1 Gabriel Clemens, Adrian Lewis
100/1 Jamie Hughes
125/1 Danny Noppert, William O’Connor, Brendan Dolan
150/1 Jim Williams, Darren Webster
200/1 Martin Schindler, Wayne Warren, Wesley Harms, Ross Smith, Richard Veenstra, Steve Lennon, Ryan Harrington
250/1 Robert Thornton
300/1 Dave Parletti
750/1 Mikuru Suzuki
1000/1 Lisa Ashton

Odds courtesy www.boylesports.com and correct at time of writing. Subject to fluctuation.