How the Bookies See it:
The BDO's blue riband event returns for its 41st staging as a host of international darters descend on the Lakeside Country Club, and you can follow all the latest results and fixture lists here. Channel 4 will broadcast daytime coverage, while BT Sport will screen evening sessions after the BBC ended their year involvement with the competition following the event.
Top seed Glen Durrant is the defending champion after he defeated Dutch ace Danny Noppert in last year's final to become the latest new name on the prestigious trophy. Durrant starts out as red hot favourite to retain his crown in what could be his last appearance at Lakeside, but faces stiff competition from a number of experienced throwers.
Lisa Ashton is the defending Ladies Champion after her straight sets victory over Australia's Corrine Hammond in last year's final. Men's Format Preliminary Round: Best of five sets First Round: Best of five sets Second Round: Best of seven sets Quarter-Finals: Best of nine sets Semi-Finals: Best of 11 sets Final: Best of 13 sets Women's Format First Round: Lewis eventually fell to Taylor in the semi-final, by a score of 6—1.
It was held between 14 December and 1 January , the culmination of the Professional Darts Corporation season. The remaining sixteen international and invitational qualifiers competed in a preliminary round. Michael van Gerwen , the winner of the and championships, was top of the two-year PDC Order of Merit and number one seed going into the tournament. Amongst the international and invitational qualification tournaments there was, for the first time, a South and Central American Qualifier.
The final four qualification places were announced on 19 October,  with places being given to the highest ranked Eastern European , Krzysztof Ratajski , the National Darts Federation of Canada number one Jeff Smith , the highest ranked African , Devon Petersen , and the then-undetermined Development Tour winner, Luke Humphries.
The final three placings were determined by the PDPA qualifier held at Arena MK on 27 November, with Ted Evetts securing a first round place by winning the tournament, and runner-up Brendan Dolan and third-place playoff winner Jamie Lewis both qualifying to the preliminary round. The top quarter of the draw saw reigning champion Michael van Gerwen dominate, knocking fellow Dutchman Christian Kist out in the first round,  before defeating James Wilson , without losing any of the twelve legs played,   and Gerwyn Price ,  to set up a quarter-final with fellow Dutch former world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
In the quarter-final, van Gerwen took an early lead, but missed a dart in the fifth set to take a 4—1 lead and ended up being pulled back to 3—3.
The two took one more set each before van Gerwen won the deciding set 3—1 to qualify for the semi-final. In the second quarter, the fourth seed, Daryl Gurney , was eliminated in the second round by John Henderson. Van den Bergh took the next three sets in succession, setting up a decider which Cross won 3—1, hitting double one in the final leg to qualify for the semi-final.
The two highest-ranked seeds in the third quarter fell early on. Two former world champions, two-time champion Gary Anderson and retiring sixteen-time champion Phil Taylor , met in the last quarter-final. Anderson's run to the quarter-final included a second round win over year-old Singaporean, Paul Lim , a match noted for a leg in which Lim, who in had become the first player to throw a perfect nine-dart leg in the World Darts Championship ,  missed a dart at double twelve to repeat the feat.
Taylor took a 4—1 lead after winning six consecutive legs, and despite Anderson winning the next two sets, Taylor took advantage of missed darts in the eighth set to triumph, 5—3.
The semi-final between Taylor and Lewis was the first to be played, and, despite Lewis winning the first set, Taylor took the next three, with Lewis having missed darts in all three sets to have potentially been 4—0 up.
Taylor won the next two sets as well, before Lewis took the first two legs in the seventh set, with Taylor taking advantage of three missed set darts from Lewis to steal the set and qualify for the twenty-first World Darts Championship final in his career.
In the second semi-final, debutant Cross took on reigning world champion van Gerwen. The first eight sets in the match all went with throw, with Cross taking a lead before being pegged back by van Gerwen. Michael van Gerwen got the first break in the ninth set, taking a 5—4 lead to throw for the match, but Cross fought back to win the tenth set 3—1 to force a deciding set. In the deciding set — which had to be won by two clear legs until the eleventh leg was reached — Cross missed a match-winning dart at the bull with the score at 3—2, before van Gerwen won two legs in succession to take a 5—4 lead.
With both players under pressure, van Gerwen missed five darts to win the tenth leg, before Cross hit a double 18 to force a sudden death leg. Both Cross and van Gerwen missed match darts at double 16 before Cross hit double 8 to qualify for the final in his debut entry,  becoming the first player to make the final on his debut since Kirk Shepherd in Rob Cross held the first set 3—1, and broke in the second set by the same scoreline, before winning the third set 3—0.
Taylor scored his first set with a 3—0 win in the fourth, before missing a dart at double twelve for a potential perfect nine-dart leg in the first leg of the fifth set. The draw was made on 26 November The draw for the main round was made live on Sky Sports News on 27 November This table shows the number of players by country in the World Championship, the total number including the preliminary round.
Twenty-four countries were represented in the World Championship, two more than in the previous championship. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. If insufficient players hold a position of the Order of Merit, the PDC will select which players are placed in to which round at the discretion of its board of Directors. Retrieved 21 July Retrieved 13 December Why the PDC should stop rolling out the red carpet". Retrieved 1 January Love the Darts Mag. Retrieved 29 December Gurney beaten by Henderson in London".
Retrieved 28 December Peter Wright out after losing to Jamie Lewis". Paul Lim almost hits a historic nine-darter". Phil Taylor defeats Keegan Brown to seal quarter-final place".
Retrieved 30 December Retrieved 3 January Retrieved 1 July Retrieved 26 November