The nine-day, £450,000 tournament runs from July 16th through July 24th and sees 32 players in competition at the seaside resort. It will be televised live on Sky Sports.
The top sixteen players in the rankings all automatically qualify, while the other sixteen take their places through qualifiers.
Last year’s champion, Michael van Gerwen, beat James Wade in the 2015 final and will take centre stage on Saturday’s opening night as he faces off against qualifier Jamie Caven.
Blackpool Darts Betting Tips
No sooner had the draw been made than organisers, commentators and tipsters began speculating on what will surely be a wide open battle.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen is, as ever, the obvious pick – but where’s the fun in that? St Helens’ own Dave Chisnall lies at a whopping 28/1 at Skybet. He’s the closest thing to a local lad in these parts and if he can get the crowd onside he will be a match for anyone, particularly each way.
Fifteen-time World Matchplay Champion, Phil Taylor, can be backed at 6/1 at Betway where the other second-favourite, Gary Anderson, fresh from his Tokyo win, is ranked a best price 5/1.
Taylor’s round one opponent will be Wallasey’s own Robbie Green, another qualifier, who is ranked number 56 in the world and whose career highlight so far was a second place finish in the British Darts Organisation’s world championship in 2014.
Adrian Lewis, himself a former Blackpool finalist, is 14/1 across the board to claim his first World Matchplay title, while last year’s losing semi-finalist Peter Wright is 16/1 to finally win a major. With both players and Van Gerwen all in the same half of the draw, all three will need to be throwing their best darts if they are to progress.
James Wade, the only other former event champion on the ticket, is a decent price of 22/1 and meets former semi-finalist Mervyn King first up, with the winner seeded to likely meet Raymond van Barneveld who is 28/1 at bet365.
At 100/1, Simon Whitlock is a massive each way pick, and first up meets the unfancied Michael Smith. It will take a massive upturn in fortune for Whitlock but he’s been great in the past, can still beat anyone on a good day and always represents good value.
The first three in the betting are all obvious: Michael van Gerwen 6/5 (Skybet), Gary Anderson 5/1 (Betway), and Phil Taylor. However, on a good day (or if you’re feeling brave and want to look for the long odds), Dave Chisnall can go deep here.
If you want to pick the nationality of the winner you can go with the Netherlands at 21/20 at bet365, England at 2/1 with Skybet and Scotland 100/30 with Betway.
Each nine-dart finish achieved during the World Matchplay will see the event sponsors make a £5,000 donation to Parkinson’s UK, the official charity partner of the Professional Darts Corporation. This has happened six times in tournament history and three times this year alone.
Regarded as the second biggest PDC tournament, the World Matchplay began in 1994 and is played in a legs format. The first round concludes on Monday evening, before the second round sees the players in the top half of the draw play on Tuesday and the bottom halfers on Wednesday. This precedes the quarter-finals, which are split across Thursday and Friday before the tournament reaches its climax next weekend.
Saturday July 16
- Vincent van der Voort v Kyle Anderson
- Robert Thornton v Josh Payne
- Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Caven
- Dave Chisnall v Benito van de Pas
Sunday July 17
- Stephen Bunting v Mensur Suljovic
- Kim Huybrechts v Gerwyn Price
- Terry Jenkins v Justin Pipe
- Ian White v Daryl Gurney
- James Wade v Mervyn King
- Adrian Lewis v Mark Webster
- Gary Anderson v Alan Norris
- Peter Wright v Joe Cullen
Monday July 18
- Jelle Klaasen v Steve Beaton
- Raymond van Barneveld v Brendan Dolan
- Phil Taylor v Robbie Green
- Michael Smith v Simon Whitlock
Tuesday July 19
- Thornton/Payne v Chisnall/van de Pas
- Wright/Cullen v White/Gurney
- van Gerwen/Caven v van der Voort/K Anderson
- Lewis/Webster v Huybrechts/Price
Wednesday July 20
- Wade/King v van Barneveld/Dolan
- Smith/Whitlock v Klaasen/Beaton
- Taylor/Green v Bunting/Suljovic
- G Anderson/Norris v Jenkins/Pipe
Thursday July 21
- Wright/Cullen/White/Gurney v Lewis/Webster/Huybrechts/Price
- van Gerwen/Caven/van der Voort/K Anderson v Thornton/Payne/Chisnall/van de Pas
Friday July 22
- Wade/King/van Barneveld/Dolan v Taylor/Green/Bunting/Suljovic
- G Anderson/Norris/Jenkins/Pipe v Smith/Whitlock/Klaasen/Beaton
Saturday July 23
Sunday July 24
In last weekend’s Tokyo Masters, Gary Anderson claimed a World Series title for the third time this year. The Scot beat Michael van Gerwen 8-6 in the final on Thursday and adds his latest win to his triumphs in both Dubai and Auckland.
Wednesday’s opening round match against Japanese qualifier Seigo Asada proved, unsurprisingly, to be no trouble at all for Anderson, who then saw off Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis to seal his spot in the final. Van Gerwen, though, struggled against Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals, before a comfortable 8-3 win over James Wade on his way to meet Anderson.
Van Gerwen began the stronger of two and immediately landed a 180 and a 100 checkout, gifting him the first leg. Anderson though took two out the next three sets to bring the game even. The next two legs also went Anderson’s way, before Van Gerwen fought back and claimed a third after which Anderson cruised home to victory.