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Players to Watch at the 2022 World Darts Championship

World Darts Championship

The World Darts Championship is a darts tournament that is held at Alexandra Palace in London every year from December through to early January. The tournament has the largest field in the sport, with 96 contestants entering the competition. Of these, 32 qualify through the Order of Merit rankings, and will receive a bye for the opening round. A further 32 can qualify through their Pro Tour Order of Merit rankings, based on their performances at other Professional Darts Corporation, or PDC events, and the last 32 players can secure places in the competition through the International Qualifiers.

The PDC World Darts Championship is the most prestigious tournament in the sport, with the biggest cash prize fund at £2.5 million. The games in the tournament are relatively short, played to a best of 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 sets, increasing with each stage of the competition.

Numerous darts players have won the World Darts Championship, Phil Taylor, who has now retired, has the best record with 14 wins in the competition. His record is quite far ahead of the other champions and may never be broken; the current player who is the closest is Michael van Gerwen who has won the competition 3 times. Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, John Part and Peter Wright have all won the competition 2 times, and Raymond van Barneveld, Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price have all won once each.

Top Players for 2022/23

Michael van Gerwen

Van Gerwen is arguably the best current player in darts. He has won every PDC event, winning the World Darts Championship in 2014, 2017, and 2019. The Dutch darts player started his career when he was still a teenager and won the 2006 World Masters at the age of 17. He had his best years in 2015, 2016, 2017, when he won 5, 6, and 4 PDC events, respectively, although he won at least 1 major event from each year between 2012 and 2020. Despite not winning any premier events in 2021, the Dutch darts player has an outstanding record and he was unfortunate in last year's PDC World Darts Championship, as he had to withdraw in the third round because he caught Covid. Currently he has the most PDC World Darts Championships amongst other active players, having won the competition three times and reaching the finals two more times.

Peter Wright

Wright is an older player who has been playing darts since the 90s. He started his career in the British Darts Organisation, or BDO, and swapped over to the PDC in 2009. It took him 8 years to win his first major title, the UK Open, after reaching the finals in the competition in the two years before that, and also reaching a PDC World Darts Championship finals in 2014. In 2020, he won two more titles, including his first PDC World Darts Championship. He went on to win the competition again in 2022, after beating Michael Smith in the finals in a close game that ended 7-5.

Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price is amongst the top darts players but before he played professionally he was a rugby player for Wales, and he has also had an interest in boxing. In 2014, when he was 29 years old, he decided to commit himself to darts and the change paid off after 5 years. By 2016, he had already qualified for all the major PDC events, and in 2018, he won the Grand Slam of Darts. He replicated his success in the following year and went on to win a World Grand Prix and another Grand Slam of Darts before winning his first PDC World Darts Championship in 2021. In that year, he beat Daryl Gurney, Stephen Bunting, and Gary Anderson in the finals, in a game that ended 7-3. In last year's PDC World Darts Championship, the Welshman reached the quarterfinals, where Michael Smith knocked him out.

Michael Smith

Smith began his PDC darts career in 2009 at the age of 19 years old. He won the PDC World Youth Championship in 2013, an unranked event, but he has yet to win a major title. The English darts player is highly rated as he has come extremely close to winning a title on numerous occasions. He reached the finals of the PDC World Darts Championship and the World Matchplay in 2019, but lost in the finals to Michael van Gerwen and Robs Cross. In 2022, he reached the PDC World Darts Championship final for a second time, but lost to Peter Wright.

James Wade

Wade is a bit older than Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith, and started his PDC darts career in 2005. In 2007, he won his first major events, the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix of darts. To date he has won three UK Opens, one World Matchplay, two World Grand Prix, and one European Championships. In the PDC World Darts Championships, the furthest he ever reached was the semi-finals, on four different occasions. In 2009 he lost 6-4 to Raymond van Barneveld, in 2012 he lost the semi-finals to Adrian Lewis 6-5, in 2013 he lost to Michael van Gerwen 6-4, and in last year's event he was knocked out in the semi-finals by Michael Smith 6-3.

Gary Anderson

Anderson is the same age as Peter Wright, and he has won titles both with the BDO and PDC organisations. He reached his first final in the PDC World Darts Championship in 2011, and in the same year, he also reached the finals of the Grand Slam of Darts and the Players Championship Finals. He won his first PDC title in 2014, when he overcame Adrian Lewis in the Players Championship Finals. In 2015, he won his first PDC World Darts Championship, beating players such as Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen, and the legendary Phil Taylor in the finals. In the following year, he defended his championship, beating players such as Vincent van der Voort, James Wade, and Adrian Lewis in the finals. Since then he has also won the UK Open and World Matchplay, extending his PDC championships to 5. He reached the finals of the 2017 World Darts Championship, but was defeated by Michael van Gerwen. He reached the finals of the competition once again in 2021, this time losing to Gerwyn Price.

Rob Cross

Cross is an English player who is the same age as James Wade. He started his PDC career in 2016, and managed to reach the fourth round of the UK Open in that year. In the following year, he reached the finals of the European Championship and the semi-finals of the Players Championship Finals. In 2018, he shot to stardom as he won the World Darts Championship, beating Phil Taylor in the final 7-2. He qualified for the tournament through his rankings in the PDC Pro Tour Order of Merit, so he had to play the opening round. He beat Michael Smith and Van den Bergh to reach the semi-finals, where he beat a prime Michael van Gerwen before he went on to defeat the most successful player in PDC darts history. In the following year, Cross reached the finals of the UK Open, and won the World Matchplay and the European Championship. He won his fourth title in 2021, when he won the European Championship again. Since winning the PDC World Darts Championship, he has reached the fourth round on two occasions, most recently in 2022.


There is a good chance that any of the players listed above will win the 2022/23 World Darts Championship, there will be bets available on these contestants and all the others as soon as all of the entrants are announced for the competition. Whilst bets on Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, or any of the other darts players will have a good chance of winning, there are no guarantees. This is why it is always important to set a budget when betting and stick to it. If you need more information on safer gambling practices, then you can turn to

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