THE 2018 William Hill US Darts Masters gets underway this Friday in Las Vegas, and to mark the second staging of the tournament we take a look back at the top five darting moments from the 'City of Lights'.
World number one Michael van Gerwen will defend his title at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino alongside seven other PDC representatives and the cream of north American talent from July 5-7 live on ITV4.
Since the PDC's first staging of the Las Vegas Desert Classic in 2002, we have seen many shocks, surprises and stunning darts, but which is your favourite Las Vegas darting moment of all-time?
Here we take a look back at our top five greatest moments from the American darting spectacle ahead of Thursday’s curtain-raiser.
5. Awesome Dawson Springs A Surprise
Canadian youngster Dawson Murschell announced his talent to a worldwide audience with a shock win over James Wade on the opening day of the 2017 US Darts Masters.
The then 21-year-old overcame big-stage nerves, having made his TV debut a day earlier in the North American Championship, to win 6-5 after Wade missed six match darts in a dramatic deciding leg at the Tropicana Las Vegas.
Murschell used the historic victory as a springboard to winning his Tour Card in January and has played on the ProTour in 2018.
4. PDC's First Trip To Vegas
The 2002 Las Vegas Desert Classic was the inaugural staging of a darts tournament by the PDC in the 'Entertainment Capital of the World'.
The historic event featured the top players from the PDC along with an opportunity for players from North America to qualify, with over 200 players entering.
Phil Taylor won the first ever Las Vegas title, beating Ronnie Baxter 3-0 in the final.
3. It's Party Time!
The Desert Classic's first staging at Mandalay Bay in 2006 saw John Part pick up his first televised PDC title since being crowned World Champion three years earlier.
The Canadian legend overcame Baxter, Roland Scholten, Terry Jenkins and Wes Newton as he won through to the final.
In the final Part recorded a 6-3 triumph over Raymond van Barneveld, who was playing in the event for the first time.
2. Terrific Taylor Makes It Four
The 2008 Las Vegas Desert Classic saw Taylor claim his fourth Desert Classic title, bouncing back from a first round defeat to Mark Dudbridge in the 2007 event and a semi-final loss to Van Barneveld in 2006.
The Stoke thrower posted averages above 100 in all but one match en route to the final where he beat Wade with a stunning 105.53 average.
In total, Taylor won the Desert Classic an impressive five times from eight stagings of the tournament.
1. Van Gerwen Victorious In Vegas
Following an eight-year absence from Vegas, last year marked another historic moment for darts in America as Van Gerwen beat Daryl Gurney 8-6 in the final of the inaugural US Darts Masters.
The Dutchman produced a series of dazzling displays in World Series of Darts event, losing just one leg en route to the final.
Van Gerwen took out 98 to complete a brilliant 12-darter to see off an impressive Gurney, as he secured the win and back-to-back World Series triumphs.
Thursday sees the eight north American qualifiers from Tuesday and Wednesday's events compete in the William Hill North American Championship, which will see the winner progress to play in the World Championship in London in December.
The top PDC stars, with Van Gerwen joined by the likes of World Champion Rob "Voltage" Cross and colourful Peter "Snakebite" Wright, then enter the action as the US Darts Masters begins on Friday.
The first round ties on Friday will be followed on Saturday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final before the US Darts Masters champion is crowned.
Play will commence at 12pm from July 5-7 in the South Pacific Ballroom at Mandalay Bay. For event information, see pdc.tv/vegas.
Worldwide TV broadcasts include coverage on bbcamerica.com and through the DartsBBCA page on Facebook.
Tickets for US Darts Masters and North American Darts Championship are available to purchase from the Mandalay Bay Box Office through this link or in person at the Will Call desk.
Prices are as follows:
Thursday, July 5:
North American Darts Championship
$53.75 table seat
$44.40 bleacher seat
Friday, July 6:
US Darts Masters Last 16
$69.30 table seat
$57.35 bleacher seat
Saturday, July 7:
US Darts Masters Last 8/S-Finals/Final
$80.70 table seat
$69.30 bleacher seat
$199.50 table seat
$164.76 bleacher seat
All ticket prices include tax and venue/booking fees. A $4.90 handling fee applies per order.
Standard PDC Terms and Conditions as displayed at www.pdc.tv apply.