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Since 2008, the European Championship Darts has been on the PDC calendar. The ranking tournament in late October guarantees top darts every year.
When betting on darts, you have many tournaments from the PDC calendar to choose from. These include the PDC World Championship, the Premier League of Darts, the World Grand Prix and the Grand Slam of Darts. We will take a zoomed in look at the format, history, betting markets and top matches of the PDC European Championship Darts.
Format – PDC European Championship Darts
In terms of tournament format, the European Championship Darts is very simple in all cases. Since the beginning, it has been based on a knockout basis which depends on winning a certain number of legs. In the first edition, it went from best of 9 to 17 to 21 in the tournament. Nowadays, it is best of 11 in the first round, best of 19 in the second round and quarter-finals, and best of 21 in the semi-final and final.
From PDC Order of Merit to European Tour Order of Merit
Who is allowed to enter the tournament did change a few times over the years. From the first edition in 2008, for instance, they were the best 16 players from the PDC Order of Merit supplemented by eight European qualifiers and eight players from the Players Championships/Pro Tour Order of Merit.
In 2016, there was a big change in qualifying. From then on, players could only qualify based on the PDC European Tour Order of Merit, which is the ranking of the PDC’s European tournaments that season. This includes the European Darts Grand Prix, German Darts Open and the Dutch Open Darts. There were only two European Tour tournaments in 2021, so a lot of surprising names at the European Darts Championship as well.
On top of that, the European Darts Championship has had many different playing cities. Ten editions were held in Germany, across six cities. In 2009 it was in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, from 2015-2017 in Hasselt, Belgium, and in 2021 in Salzburg, Austria.
History – PDC European Darts Championship
Over the past 20 years, more and more tournaments have been added to the PDC calendar. Due, among other things, to a lot televised darts on Sky Sports, the PDC has also grown bigger and bigger. In 2008, the idea of organising a European Championship – like football – was picked up. Of course this could not be done with whole countries pitted against each other.
They decided to combine the PDC’s best 16 players, based on the Order of Merit, with eight players from the Players Championship qualifiers and eight European qualifiers. In the first edition in 2008, for example, players like Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Roland Scholten were among the best 16 on the Order of Merit. Vincent van der Voort came from the Players Championship qualifiers. Jelle Klaassen, Jan van der Rassel and Mensur Suljovic were European qualifiers.
Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Simon Whitlock
What is a new PDC tournament in the 00s without the dominance of Phil Taylor in the early years? The Power was also unbeatable at the PDC European Championship in the first few years. From 2008 to 2011, he won four times in a row, averaging 104-109 each time in the final. Those who suffered defeat in the finals were Adrian Lewis, Steve Beaton, Wayne Jones and Adrian Lewis again.
In 2012, Taylor surprisingly lost to Brendan Dolan in the quarter-finals. Raymond van Barneveld could not take advantage, losing to Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-finals. In the end, it was Simon Whitlock who won the European Darts Championship as an Australian. A year later, Whitlock was in the final again, but it was Adrian Lewis who finally won his third final.
Michael van Gerwen, James Wade and Rob Cross
And as is often the case, Phil Taylor’s dominance at the PDC European Darts Championship has been taken over by Michael van Gerwen. From 2014 to 2017, he was the best at this tournament. Three times he won the final with ease, with 2015 being the exciting exception. He came back from being behind Gary Anderson at 10-7 to an 11-10 victory. In 2016, on the contrary, it was almost a whitewash against Mensur Suljovic. The poor Austrian picked up just one leg against a denied Mighty Mike, who threw a 111.62 average.
However, 2017 would remain the last win for Michael van Gerwen for now. In 2018, James Wade picked up one of his many tournament victories, beating Simon Whitlock in his third final. Rob Cross still lost the final to Van Gerwen in 2017, but in 2019 and 2021 he would prove to be the best. In the latter year, he beat Mighty Mike in the final. In between, Peter Wright grabbed the final victory once in 2020.
Statistics – PDC European Championship
In the 14 editions played so far, Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen stand out. Both players won the tournament four times. But because Van Gerwen also had a lost final to add, he is placed slightly higher. Along with James Wade and Mensur Suljovic, Van Gerwen has also played the most tournaments with 13.
Rob Cross is the third multiple winner, with two wins and one lost final. Adrian Lewis and Simon Whitlock both won one of their three finals. James Wade and Peter Wright are thus the other winners.
Nine-darters Michael van Gerwen and high averages
Of course, it is also always nice to look at other statistics at such a darts tournament. In the 14 editions so far, four nine-darters have been thrown. An interesting note is that on all occasions a Dutchman was the opponent:
- 2011: Adrian Lewis against Raymond van Barneveld
- 2014: Michael van Gerwen against Raymond van Barneveld
- 2017: Kyle Anderson against Michael van Gerwen
- 2020: José de Sousa against Jeffrey de Zwaan
Among the best 10 averages, we find Phil Taylor five times, including in the top three spots, with 118.14 being the outlier. Michael van Gerwen is also in it three times, along with Raymond van Barneveld and Jonny Clayton. Phil Taylor also has the highest tournament average, with a whopping 111.54 in 2009. Michael van Gerwen threw an average above 100 28 times, Phil Taylor 26 times. Then again, The Power played four fewer editions.
Betting Markets – PDC European Championship Darts
When betting on darts, there are often a number of odds (betting markets) to choose from. We explain some of the ones you can choose from at most bookmakers.
Betting on PDC European Darts Championship – nine darts and 180s
The European Darts Championship has had many high averages. Of course, you don’t achieve those without throwing a good number of 180s. Michael van Gerwen does it easily, but James Wade is also known for it. When betting on darts, choose for example on the number of 180s for a player in a match or the tournament.
Betting on PDC European Championship Darts – (live) betting on results
In this tournament, the best dart players from the PDC European Tour play against each other. So these are not always the best players on the PDC Order of Merit. As a result you get interesting matches and there may be surprises. For example, go for a round of live betting on the winner of the matches. Will you see who is in excellent form and who is not?
Betting on PDC European Championship Darts – outright
Over the past five years, we have had four different winners. Michael van Gerwen has been waiting for another final victory in this PDC European Championship Darts since 2017. Is he your favourite for the overall win, or could the likes of Gerwyn Price or Michael Smith win for the first time? Always check the odds on the outright winner.
Historic matches – PDC European Darts Championship
2014 semi-final – Michael van Gerwen vs Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen won his first PDC European Darts Championship in 2014. In the semi-final against Raymond van Barneveld, Mighty Mike did not get off to a great start. Barney ran out to a 3-1 and 4-2 lead. At that score, Van Gerwen turned the match around by throwing a nine darter, seen here:
2017 semi-final – Michael van Gerwen vs Kyle Anderson
Three years later, again in the semi-final, Michael van Gerwen was on the receiving end of a nine-darter. At a 6-4 lead against Australian Kyle Anderson, nothing could go wrong. Then Anderson suddenly threw a clever nine darter. Van Gerwen maintained his lead until 8-8, when the Australian got to 9-8 and had two doubles for 10-8. Eventually it was 10-10 and Kyle Anderson had two match darts, but he missed on the last one, allowing Van Gerwen to win.
2021 quarter-final – Nathan Aspinall vs Danny Noppert
In the shadow of Michael van Gerwen, Danny Noppert is developing into one of the better (Dutch) darters of recent years. His wins include the 2022 UK Open and semi-finals at the 2021 World Grand Prix and 2022 World Matchplay. ‘The Freeze’ was close to the semi-finals in 2021, but narrowly lost out 11-10 to Nathan Aspinall in a high-class duel.
More Darts Events
The PDC World Darts Championship in the Alexandra Palace is hailed by many as the greatest darts tournament. The best darts players in the world will cross darts to decide who is the very best in early January.
One of the most favoured tournaments in darts is the PDC World Series of Darts.
At various locations around the world, players from the top of the PDC Ranking will compete against local players.
The Dutch Open is played according to the knockout system where the winner of each match advances to the next round. For fans of betting on darts, this is definitely not to be missed.
One of the most enjoyable tournaments on the PDC calendar is the PDC World Grand Prix. A different format, lots of excitement and unpredictability.
The Premier League Darts is an annual competition. The Premier League Darts tournament lasts from February to May and has been organised since 2005.
Ten players from the PDC compete for a share of the £1,000,000 prize pool.
At times facing each other, at times side by side. That’s the PDC World Cup of Darts, a Nations Cup featuring the best two darters from each country.
Which country has the best darts duo, and which team forms the best blend?
The Grand Slam of Darts has been an annual tournament since 2007. Qualification for the Grand Slam of Darts is through the other tournaments.
Only the winners of the other darts television tournaments qualify.
Only the best darters can be seen at The PDC Masters darts tournament.
Each year, the best 24 darters compete in this challenging tournament, right after the PDC World Darts Championship has ended.
The Paddy Power Champions League of Darts was an annual non-ranking darts tournament featuring just the top eight players.
Following the COVID cancellation of the 2020 tournament the tournament was quietly shelved by the PDC.
Since 2008, the European Championship Darts has been on the PDC calendar. The ranking tournament in late October guarantees top darts sportsmanship and performance every year.
The UK Open Darts is also known as the FA Cup of darts.
The comparison comes from the specific format of the UK Open Darts. At other tournaments seeded players meet late, but at the UK Open Darts, things are a bit different.
A series of countrywide tournaments taking place over a few months, in between the other championships, that culminate in a stand off of the best darters.
The PDC European Championship is a premier darts tournament featuring top players from across Europe. It holds importance as one of the PDC’s major televised events, offering substantial ranking points and showcasing the best talent from the continent.
The PDC European Championship exclusively features European players, providing a platform for regional talent to compete against top names while highlighting the strength of darts on the continent.
Yes, despite the UK no longer being part of the European Union, UK players still get to participate in the tournament. In fact in the 5 editions between and including 2018 and 2022 all the winners were from the UK, namely James Wade, Rob Cross, and Ross Smith from England, and Peter Wright from Scotland.
The tournament venue rotates every year. So far it has taken place in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria. The tournament took place in the same location for 3 consecutive years twice. First recurrent location run was in RWE-Sporthalle, Mülheim in Germany in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The second recurrent location run was in Ethias Arena, Hasselt in Belgium in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Michael van Gerwen and James Wade have made the most appearances, at 14 each. Michael van Gerwen is also tied with Phil Taylor with the most wins at 4 each. Van Gerwen, additionally, has the most finals appearances at 5, with Taylor following up at 4.