The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Players Championship is one of the most hotly anticipated events in the world of darts. Taking place annually each November, it brings together the top professional dart players to compete for the coveted title in an action-packed tournament. With a grueling format, dramatic finishes, and the best players in the world battling it out, it has become a highlight of the PDC calendar.
What is the PDC Players Championship Finals? The PDC Players Championship Finals is the event of the PDC Pro Tour, bringing together the top 64 players from the Players Championship Order of Merit. The 3-day event takes place each November at the Butlin’s Resort in Minehead. The Players Championship Finals has total prize money of £500,000. The champion takes home £100,000 and the runner-up wins £50,000.
The PDC Players Championship Final is the culmination of multiple non-televised tournaments competed throughout the year during the PDC Pro Tour. As the final tournament of the season, it offers one last chance for competitors to claim glory and ranking points before the PDC World Darts Championship. Keep reading to find out the history of the event, the format, and how players qualify for this tournament.
History of the PDC Players Championship Finals
The PDC Players Championship Finals began in 2009 and was originally called the PDC Pro Tour Finals. The inaugural tournament took place at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, England, and was won by Phil Taylor who defeated Robert Thornton 16-9 in the final.
The event moved to Butlin’s Resort in Minehead, England in 2012 and was renamed the Players Championship Finals. Since then it has remained one of the highlights of the darting year, giving lower-ranked PDC players the chance to compete for a lucrative major title.
The tournament originally featured the top 32 players from the Players Championship Order of Merit. In 2016 the tournament pulled the top 64 players from the Players Championship Order of Merit. The Players Championship Order of Merit comprises prize money won in 30 Players Championship events held throughout the year on the PDC Pro Tour.
PDC Players Championship Finals Format and Schedule
The Players Championship Finals uses a knockout format stretched across three days of intense competition:
Day 1 – All 64 players compete in a series of best-of-11 leg first-round matches. The 32 winners progress to the second round later on Day 1, cutting the field in half.
Day 2 – The remaining 32 players compete in second and third-round best-of-11 matches. By the end of Day 2, only 8 players remain.
Day 3 – The quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals take place on Day 3. The quarters and semis are best-of-19 legs.
The tournament format is straightforward:
- First round – best of 11 legs
- Second round – best of 11 legs
- Third round – best of 19 legs
- Fourth round – best of 19 legs
- Quarter-finals – best of 19 legs
- Semi-finals – best of 21 legs
- Final – best of 21 legs
All matches are played in a straight knockout format with no seeding. This gives every player an equal chance, unlike the tiered seeding system used in TV majors.
The PDC Players Championship Finals has a prize fund of £500,000. This is distributed as follows:
- Winner (1) – £100,000
- Runner Up (1) – £50,000
- Semi-finalists (2) – £25,000 each
- Quarter-finalists (4) – £15,000 each
- Last 16 – Third Round (8) – £10,000 each
- Last 32 – Second Round (16) – £5,000 each
- Last 64 – First Round (32) – £2,500 each
How Players Qualify for the PDC Players Championship Finals
Given its status as one of the premier events, simply holding a tour card is not enough to gain entry into the Players Championship Finals. Players must earn qualification based on merit through consistently strong performances on the PDC Pro Tour.
The Players Championship consists of over 30 non-televised events held throughout the year during the PDC Pro Tour. A player’s results and prize money won at these events in the previous year are tracked by the PDC Players Championship Order of Merit. The top 64 players from the Players Championship Order of Merit are invited to compete at the Players Championship Final.
Memorable Moments from the PDC Players Championship Finals
There have been some classic matches and dramatic moments at the PDC Players Championship Finals over the years:
- Michael van Gerwen has the most wins at the PDC Players Championship Finals with 7 titles.
- Mervyn King has the most appearances at the PDC Players Championship Finals playing in all 15 tournaments held.
- In 2018, Daryl Gurney defeated Michael van Gerwen 11-9 and ended Gerwen’s 22-match winning streak.
- In 2022, Michael van Gerwen won the tournament by throwing a nine-dart finish in the final round against Rob Cross winning 11-6.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the Players Championships get televised?
No. The Players Championship events are non-televised PDC floor tournaments. Only the Players Championship Finals major in November gets televised coverage.
How do players qualify for the Players Championship events?
Players must hold a PDC tour card or Associate Member status to compete in Players Championship tournaments.
Where are the Players Championship events held?
The 30 Players Championship events take place at venues across Europe on Thursday and Fridays from February to November during the PDC Pro Tour.
How many Players Championship tournaments are there per year?
There are 30 Players Championship events held annually from February to November.
What makes it different than other PDC tournaments?
It features the top players exclusively and has a grueling format stretching over three days. Winning it is seen as a major feather in a player’s cap.
Has anyone ever won back-to-back Players Championship titles?
Yes, Only Michael van Gerwen has done it. Wining 2015-2016-2017 and 2019 – 2020.