Will Gerwyn Price Defend His PDC World Darts Title Starting This Week?

Last year, Gerwyn Price landed his first ever PDC World Darts Championship on New Years Day, making him the 2021 Champion of the World. It was a fantastic end to the season for the spiky Welshman who enjoyed his most successful year as a professional.

However, on Wednesday, Price will be amongst a field of 96 professionals from all over the world that will be competing at the famous Alexandra Palace in London to become the 2022 World Champion as the famous tournament, that is now one of the traditions of Christmas for many, gets underway.

The action begins with the first two rounds of action taking place between Wednesday 15th and Thursday 23rd December, after which all the first and second round ties will have been played.

There then follows a three-day break over the Christmas period, before the tournament resumes on the 27th December with the third round. We then play through to the completion of the semifinals on the 30th December, before the final is contested on New Year’s Day.

As you would expect, this huge sporting event is one that attracts many viewers and a large number of people that want a bet on the tournament, individual games and In Play and if you are a darts fan then check out the excellent service you can find at bet365 Sport for the darts.

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2022 PDC World Darts Championship

With £500,000 for the winner out of a prize pool of £2,500,000, the 29th PDC World Darts Championship has come a long way from the first event contested back in 1994. Back then, the prize pool was just £64,000 for the fledgling organisation and the winner, Dennis Priestley, earned £16,000 for his victory over Phil Taylor.

However, few could have predicted just how popular the PDC World Championship would become, soon outstripping the BDO World Championship to become the dominant organisation in darts and over the years, its popularity grew with spectators, viewers, punters and players alike.

The tournament has seen a total of 10 different winners in its history, with 18 players managing to reach the final.

Phil Taylor is the most decorated player with an incredible 14 PDC World Titles to his name. Michael van Gerwen is next on the list with three with Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson and John Part all winning the title twice.

Dennis Priestley, Raymond Van Barneveld, Peter Wright, Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price have all won the title once each.

The tournament has also seen ten nine-dart finishes completed over the years, the most recent by James Wade last year, but there has only ever been one nine-dart finish in a final, and that came in 2011 when Adrian Lewis achieved the feat on his way to victory over Gary Anderson.

Now attracting huge sponsorship, and a large TV audience tuning in to the matches on Sky Sports, the PDC World Darts Championship has become part of the Christmas tradition in the UK and this year’s tournament promises to be one of the toughest to win ever.

The Decline Of The BDO

In 2020, the BDO, a rival organisation to the PDC, finally went bust after many years of struggling. As a result a number of players from that organisation have tried to qualify for the PDC World Championship, with a small number succeeding.

Some other former BDO players have transferred over to the World Darts Federation, who are attempting to run their old World Championship event in January 2022 to replace the BDO version, but there is no doubt that this is very much a secondary event in the world of top level darts.

However, this means that there are now a number of good quality former BDO players that have qualified as one of the 96 competitors in this event which is going to make competition this year for the players even harder.

You can see this when you take a look at the full first and second round draws, which are outlined below.

PDC World Championship 2022 – First & Second Round Draws

  1. Round 1 – Richie Edhouse v Lihao Wen
  2. Round 1 – Ricky Evans v Nitin Kumar
  3. Round 1 – Adrian Lewis v Matt Campbell
  4. Round 2 – Gerwyn Price v Winner of Match 1
  5. Round 1 – Steve Lennon v Madars Razma
  6. Round 1 – Scott Mitchell v Chris Landman
  7. Round 1 – Chas Barstow v John Norman Jr.
  8. Round 2 – Daryl Gurney v Winner of Match 2
  9. Round 1 – William O’Connor v Danny Lauby Jr.
  10. Round 1 – Ryan Meikle v Fabian Schmutzler
  11. Round 1 – Ron Meulenkamp v Lisa Ashton
  12. Round 2 – Gary Anderson v Winner of Match 3
  13. Round 1 – Ryan Joyce v Roman Benecky
  14. Round 1 – Keane Barry v Royden Lam
  15. Round 1 – Jermaine Wattimena v Boris Kotsov
  16. Round 2 – Krzysztof Ratajski v Winner of Match 5
  17. Round 1 – Joe Murnan v Paul Lim
  18. Round 1 – William Borland v Bradley Brooks
  19. Round 1 – Ross Smith v Jeff Smith
  20. Round 2 – Peter Wright v Winner of Match 10
  21. Round 1 – Jamie Highes v Raymond Smith
  22. Round 1 – Callan Rydz v Yuki Yamada
  23. Round 1 – Darius Labanauskas v Mike De Decker
  24. Round 2 – Ian White v Winner of Match 6
  25. Round 1 – Adam Hunt v Boris Krcmar
  26. Round 1 – Ted Evetts v Jim Williams
  27. Round 1 – Rowby-John Rodriguez v Nick Kenny
  28. Round 2 – Michael van Gerwen v Winner of Match 7
  29. Round 1 – Maik Kuivenhoven v Ky Smith
  30. Round 1 – Jason Heaver v Gordon Mathers
  31. Round 1 – Alan Soutar v Diogo Portela
  32. Round 2 – Stephen Bunting v Winner of Match 19
  33. Round 1 – Martin Kleermaker v John Michael
  34. Round 1 – Florian Hempel v Martin Schindler
  35. Round 1 – Steve Beaton v Fallon Sherrock
  36. Round 2 – Jonny Clayton v Winner of Match 14
  37. Round 1 – Luke Woodhouse v James Wilson
  38. Round 1 – Rusty-Jake Rodriguez v Ben Robb
  39. Round 1 – Raymond van Barneveld v Lourence Ilagan
  40. Round 2 – James Wade v Winner of Match 29
  41. Round 1 – Lewy Williams v Toyokazu Shibata
  42. Round 1 – Jason Lowe v Daniel Larsson
  43. Round 2 – Mervyn King v Winner of Game 13
  44. Round 2 – Dave Chisnall v Winner of Game 23
  45. Round 2 – Vincent van der Voort v Winner of Game 25
  46. Round 2 – Michael Smith v Winner of Game 11
  47. Round 2 – Dmitri van den Bergh v Winner of Game 34
  48. Round 2 – Devon Petersen v Winner of Game 21
  49. Round 2 – Ryan Searle v Winner of Game 18
  50. Round 2 – Glen Durrant v Winner of Game 9
  51. Round 2 – Luke Humphries v Winner of Game 27
  52. Round 2 – Joe Cullen – Winner of Game 26
  53. Round 2 – Nathan Aspinall v Winner of Game 17
  54. Round 2 – Dirk van Duijvenbode v Winner of Game 15
  55. Round 2 – Kim Huybrechts v Winner of Game 35
  56. Round 2 – Simon Whitlock v Winner of Game 33
  57. Round 2 – Damon Heta v Winner of Game 37
  58. Round 2 – Brendan Dolan v Winner of Game 22
  59. Round 2 – Mensur Suljovic v Winner of Game 31
  60. Round 2 – Jose de Sousa v Winner of Game 42
  61. Round 2 – Danny Noppert v Winner of Game 30
  62. Round 2 – Gabriel Clemens v Winner of Game 41
  63. Round 2 – Rob Cross v Winner of Game 39
  64. Round 2 – Chris Dobey v Winner of Game 38

The top ranked 32 players in the PDC have been given a bye through to Round 2, with the remaining players drawn against each other in the First Round, which comprises of 32 games. Round 2 games are shown above in Bold Italics.

Who Will Win This Year’s PDC World Championship?

There are four players that bet365 Sport feel have an excellent chance of winning this year’s event. They are the favourite and last year’s winner, Gerwyn Price, 3-time Champion Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright the 2020 World Champion and Jonny Clayton, the player who has won three top tournaments this year.

For me, the winner does seem likely to come from these four players and I think Peter Wright at 6/1 is the pick for me given his improved form and the fact he is previous winner here.