The Empress Ballroom at Winter Gardens in Blackpool hosted the 2015 World Matchplay Darts, where the tournament has been held since its inception in 1994. Betvictor sponsored the event for the third consecutive year after taking over from Betfair in 2013, the competition ran from the first round on Saturday 18th July, until the final on Sunday 26th July.
Widely regarded as the second biggest PDC Tournament, the World Matchplay is played in knockout format with an increasing number of legs required to be played as the competition progresses. Players contest best of 19 legs in the first round, best of 25 legs in the second round, best of 31 legs in the quarter finals, best of 33 legs in the semi-finals and best of 35 legs in the final. Matches must have be won by two clear legs, though if two leg lead is not established after six extra legs, then a tie-break leg will be played. For example, in a best of 19 legs first round match, if the score reaches 12–12 then the 25th leg will be the decider.
Last Year's Result
Phil Taylor won the event for the seventh consecutive year and 15th in total by beating Michael van Gerwen 18–9 in the 2014 final. 'The Power' also threw the event's only nine-dart finish in the second round against Michael Smith, achieved the highest checkout of 160 and held a 3 dart average of 103.92 over his five games.
With such an enviable record in the tournament, online bookmakers are keen to have Taylor on their side and as such he is a relatively short priced bet to win the 2015 World Matchplay, though Michael van Gerwen is a viable alternative and 'Mighty Mike' ensures that outright betting remains appealing.
One thing is for sure, when Taylor is in the mood he can take the world of beating, just look at his 9-Darter from last year:
2015 World Matchplay Result
Phil Taylor eventually saw his 38-game unbeaten run came to the end when he was knocked out at the semi-final stage by James Wade. Michael van Gerwen beat Peter Wright in the other semi and went on to record an 18-12 win against Wade in the final to lift his first World Matchplay title.
Van Gerwen won the tournament in style by recording the highest 3 dart average of 102.81, the second best checkout success rate of 46.25% and a whopping 39 maximums, 10 more than any other player in the competition.
Brendan Dolan recorded the highest checkout with a 170, though it counted for nothing as he was dispatched in the second round by James Wade. Adrian Lewis suffered a shock exit at the same stage to Gerwyn Price, as did Gary Anderson when losing to Mensur Suljović.
Michael van Gerwen's success sees him at the head of the betting for next year's World Matchplay, with the usual suspects Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson in close order, while James Wade and Adrian Lewis are available at double figure odds.
Whoever you're siding with in the 2016 World Matchplay, it may pay to have a saver on either Phil Taylor or Michael van Gerwen as it's hard to see the final not involving one of the big two. As ever, the team at Freebets.com will monitor online bookmakers for money back specials and enhanced odds promotions as the tournament draws nearer, so you should follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with all darts offers and betting tips.