It’s the pinnacle of darts as a sport; a tournament contested by players from dozens of countries and watched by people from many more around the globe.
The PDC World Darts Championship is the one every darts player dreams of winning, with the greatest names the sport has ever seen etched onto the famous trophy.
In 2023/24, two Americans – Stowe Buntz and Alex Spellman – will look to become the first players from the United States to be crowned world champions and walk away with a winner’s prize worth a handsome £500,000.
So, here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know about the World Darts Championship.
The Main Contenders
Those who like a darts bet or two may already have had a wager on Michael van Gerwen to win the world title this season. Already a three-time world champion, he is potentially the most recognisable face of darts – complete with his Seven Nation Army walk-on song.
MvG is a 7/2 favourite in the World Darts Championship 2023 betting, leading the way ahead of former world number one Gerwyn Price (9/2), defending champion Michael Smith (13/2) and recent World Grand Prix winner Luke Humphries (15/2).
Behind them, there’s the ever-colourful Peter Wright and his fellow Scotsman Gary Anderson – two more different characters you couldn’t wish to meet, but both are former two-time world champions.
All manner of nationalities will be represented at the Alexandra Palace, a jewel in the crown of London’s sporting hospitality.
The Grade II listed building, often referred to as ‘Ally Pally’, has also hosted snooker’s Masters tournament, the BRIT Awards and the BBC Proms, highlighting its versatility, while legendary rockers Led Zeppelin once played a two-hour show at the venue that cost punters just £1 for a ticket.
It has been the home of the World Darts Championship since 2007, where it will stay until at least 2025.
For most players, the prize they seek more than any other is the world champion title – the likes of Phil Taylor, Eric Bristow and Raymond van Barneveld, the most decorated winners in the sport’s history, are just some of the names to be emulated on the big stage.
The deal is made all the sweeter by the prize fund, which for the 2023/24 edition is expected to be a rather cool £2.5 million, as it has been previously. The winner will walk away with half a million – a far cry from the £16,000 that inaugural champion Dennis Priestley pocketed back in 1994!
Our first World Champ | January 1994— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) October 11, 2022
The WDC‘s inaugural World Darts Championship in 1994 saw 24 players from around the world competing in group and knockout phases at the Circus Tavern.
Dennis Priestley was crowned champion, thrashing Phil Taylor 6-1 in the final.#PDC30 pic.twitter.com/KOCtgi4bDo
The World Darts Championship is syndicated live to a global TV audience, so for those wanting to watch the action, you can!
The event has become a mainstay of the festive sporting calendar in the UK, with the early-stage matches taking part in December. There’s then a break for Christmas, before the action resumes in the period between the Yuletide celebrations and the New Year – a period in which many of us find ourselves losing track of the days and eating trifle for breakfast.
The final of the World Darts Championship is typically held early in January; the 2023/24 edition will be closed out with the final on January 3, 2024.
But the question is: who will get their hands on the iconic trophy?