The 2015 PDC World Darts Championship is in full swing and it is the 22nd World Championship organised by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) since it separated from the British Darts Organisation. The event has started on 18 December 2014 and concludes on 4 January 2015. The tournament is currently sponsored by William Hill and is now staged at the Alexandra Palace in London after being held the Circus Tavern in Purfleet for its first 14 years. The defending champion is Michael van Gerwen (NED) who has won his first World Championship title in 2014. The draw for the PDC World Championship was held on 2 December 2014.
Only 6 players have won this championship:
Dennis Priestley, Phil Taylor, John Part, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen. Of these, only Taylor, Lewis and Part have won it more than once. In addition, Lewis and van Gerwen are the only PDC World Champions never to have won the BDO World Championship. Taylor has dominated the tournament, winning 14 titles and reaching 16 of the first 17 finals. No left-handed player has won the PDC World Championship
The tournament features 72 players to compete for the $1.25 million prize fund. The top 32 players on the PDC Order of Merit after the Players Championship Finals are seeded for the tournament. They are joined by the 16 highest non-qualified players from the Pro Tour Order of Merit, based on the events played on the 2014 PDC Pro Tour. These 48 players are joined by two PDPA qualifiers as determined at a PDPA Qualifying event held in Coventry on 1 December 2014, the highest ranked non-qualified player on the PDC Challenge Tour Order of Merit, and 21 international players: the four highest names on the European Order of Merit not already qualified, and 17 further international qualifiers determined by the PDC and PDPA. Some of the international players, such as the four from the European Order of Merit, and the top American and Australian players are entered straight into the first round, while others, having won qualifying events in their countries, are entered into the preliminary round. Record winner is Ernie Els from South Africa who won the tournament 7 times between 1994 and 2007 John Michael will become the first Greek player to play in the PDC World Championship.
The defending champion Michael van Gerwen will be one of the favourites to win the 2015 William Hill World Darts Championship. After his victory over Joe Cullen, van Gerwen will play against the German Professional darts player Sascha Stein in his second-round match on Saturday and is highly favoured to reach the next round with odds of 1.02. The German is considered to be the rank outsider with high odds of 21.00.
Another outsider will be Max Hopp (6.48) in his first-round match against Mervyn King (1.18) and David Pallett (12.25) against Adrian Lewis (1.08) in an all-English encounter. This monday there will be four matches: Jamie Caven (1.20) versus Jason Hogg (5.42), Nolan Arendse (1.72) versus Alex Hon (2.28), Michael Smith (1.33) versus Mensur Suljovic ( 3.77) and Raymond van Barneveld (1.27) versus Rowby-John Rodriguez (4.50).