Ranked PDC events return this week with the Summer Series of five one-day Players Championship events in Milton Keynes – here we explain the format of these vital tournaments.
Players Championship events are the one-day, £75,000 tournaments which form part of the PDC ProTour alongside the European Tour, which features three-day events.
They act as a starting-point for newcomers to the PDC circuit and a chance for all players to secure their qualification for TV events – with one successful day able to bag a player £10,000 in prize money and a potentially life-changing spot on the big stage!
Each Players Championship features a 128-player field, with places initially open to the 128 PDC Tour Card Holders. Should any Tour Card Holders opt not to enter, then the field is topped up with players from the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Order of Merit.
For the PDC Summer Series, a total of 117 Tour Card Holders are in action, giving 11 Challenge Tour players their chance to compete in the five Players Championship events. Click here to see the entries.
A total of 30 Players Championship events are planned for 2020, with eight having already been staged before the coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to ranked tournaments in mid-March.
Prize money won in each event goes towards the PDC Order of Merit, the ProTour Order of Merit and also the Players Championship Order of Merit, counting towards qualification for televised events during 2020.
In addition, a Summer Series Order of Merit will also be in operation, with a place in the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts on offer for the player to win the most prize money across the five days in Milton Keynes.
Each day’s play will commence at 1200 BST, with the 128 players initially drawn across 16 playing boards for the early rounds.
This includes two streamed boards, which will see matches broadcast through PDCTV and bookmakers’ websites worldwide throughout the tournament.
Matches from the first round through to the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals being the best of 13 legs and the final being the best of 15 legs.
The draw sees the top 32 players from the ProTour Order of Merit (based on 12 months’ prize money) seeded for each event, and each knockout event plays down in a bracket format to find the eventual winner.
The PDC initially introduced the ProTour in 2002 when two-day UK Open Regional Qualifiers were added to the circuit, and in the following year the first one-day Players Championship took place, named as the Bobby Bourn Memorial Trophy in honour of the late PDC official.
Prize money has increased from £12,000 in 2002 to £75,000 per event in 2020, which includes £10,000 to the winner. Prize money begins from the Last 64 onwards, and is allocated as follows:
Winner – £10,000
Runner-Up – £6,000
Semi-Finalists – £3,000
Quarter-Finalists – £2,250
Fourth Round Losers (L16) – £1,500
Third Round Losers (L32) – £1,000
Second Round Losers (L64) – £500
First Round Losers (L128) – £0
Total – £75,000
The Players Championship winners so far in 2020 are:
PC1 – Gary Anderson
PC2 – Nathan Aspinall
PC3 – Ryan Searle
PC4 – Krzysztof Ratajski
PC5 – Peter Wright
PC6 – Gerwyn Price
PC7 – Nathan Aspinall
PC8 – Ian White
The PDC Summer Series will be broadcast live on PDCTV from July 8-12.