The 2015 World Grand Prix was the 18th edition of the PDC Premier darts competition and the 15th consecutive time the event has been staged at Dublin's Citywest Hotel. The purse for the competition was increased to £400,000 last year making the 2015 World Grand Prix one of the most fiercly contested darts competitions on the PDC circuit with everyone eying the £100,00 top prize for being named the champion.
What sets the World Grand Prix apart from other tournaments and is definitely worth bearing in mind if you plan on having a bet, is that players must commence and finish each leg on a double including the bullseye. This unique format means is not uncommon for one player to be three darts from winning a leg while the other is yet to get off the mark. The tournament has been played as a straight knock-out since 2000, meaning there are no second chances in the World Grand Prix and many big names have made an early exit over the years.
Defending World Grand Prix Champion
Michael van Gerwen was the defending champion after beating James Wade 5-3 in sets in the last year's final, but he was beaten 5-4 in the final by Robert Thornton.
Michael van Gerwen will still be considered as the man to beat in the 2016 World Grand Prix and is likely to be installed as the favourite by online bookmakers. Punters should also keep an eye on the form of other players heading into the tournament though, as outsiders have regularly made it to the latter stages of the tournament and there could be an opportunity to place some cracking bets.
The History Of World Grand Prix Darts
Michael van Gerwen may be the dominant force in darts right now, but he has some way to go to match Phil Taylor's record in the World Grand Prix.
The Power won the innaugural competition in 1998 and the following two editions before suffering a shock first round exit to Kevin painter in 2001. He bounced back the following year with a sublime performance, averaging 100.17 to beat John Part 7-3 in the final before repeating the trick against the Canadian in 2003. Taylor again lost in the first round in 2004, before winning the next two editions and falling at the first hurdle yet again in 2007, when James Wade won the first of his two titles. The Power then notched back-to-back World Grand Prix final victories over Raymond van Barneveld, before Wade clinched his second title against Adrian Lewis in 2010. Phil Taylor won his tenth World Grand Prix title in 2011 beating Brendan Dolan 6-3 in the final, but the following year it was Michael van Gerwen who landed the spoils with a 6-4 triumph over Mervyn King.
Taylor's 11th appearance in the World Grand Prix final will perhaps be his most memorable as he recorded the only ever white-wash in a final of this competition when beating Dave Chisnall 6-0. Phil Taylor has proven he is the man for the big occasion having never lost in the World Grand Prix final, though has not made it that far since 2013.
James Wade has a good record in the World Grand Prix having made the final three times including winning the tournament twice, while Michael van Gerwen had won both of the finals he had contested prior to losing in 2015. His fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld has made it to the last two on a couple of occasions, but is still awaiting his first win, a feat matched by John Part, Shayne Burgess and Terry Jenkins.