Christopher Kempf, the statistical analyst of the PDC, takes a look at how the PDC Order of Merit might change after the BetVictor World Matchplay.
Half a million pounds - the largest prize fund of ranking money on offer in any professional darts tournament barring the World Championship - will be at stake at the Winter Gardens beginning this Saturday.
Much attention will justifiably focus on the potential winner of the massive £115,000 winner's cheque, but the distribution of the rest of the money could make or break players' careers.
If Peter Wright or Michael van Gerwen win the Phil Taylor trophy, there will be little change at the top of the rankings, but the difference between a second round loss and a run to the quarter-finals will be felt intensely by the likes of Jermaine Wattimena or Adrian Lewis.
With the exception of Phil Taylor, there are 11 players who failed to qualify for this year's event having competed in the 2016 World Matchplay.
Terry Jenkins will take the biggest hit to his ranking money once the £10,000 earned from his second-round exit - 12.54% of his current total - is removed.
He will fall from 45th to at least 48th; Jamie Caven will drop from 53rd to at least 58th, and, in two weeks' time, Robert Thornton could potentially find himself on the verge of falling out of the world's top 32 players, two years after qualifying automatically as the seventh seed at the 2016 event.
On the other hand, 12 players will enjoy the opportunity to add the maximum possible earnings to their Order of Merit total as they did not qualify to play at the Winter Gardens two years ago.
Six players - Jonny Clayton, Jermaine Wattimena, Max Hopp, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Richard North and Steve Lennon - will contest their first-ever World Matchplay and make a giant leap forward in their careers.
Jeffrey de Zwaan in particular has the misfortune of having drawn the toughest possible opponent in the first round - world number one Van Gerwen - and faces long odds to reach the second round.
But de Zwaan has already scored a huge victory for his position in the rankings. The £7,000 which the young Dutchman will earn merely by virtue of having qualified will improve his Order of Merit position by 20%, vaulting him ahead of four players who did not qualify and back into the world's top 64 for the first time in 16 months.
Van Gerwen himself, as the 2016 champion, is defending the £100,000 winner's cheque from two years ago.
Although this represents barely more than 5% of his current ranking earnings, and even though the two-time World Champion is the odds-on favourite to take home the even larger £115,000 winner's prize after capturing the Premier League crown, Van Gerwen will feel under pressure to start collecting the ranking income to match his prodigious 2016 haul.
With Rob Cross likely to become the world number two before the end of the year, and defending no earnings at all from 2016 as he was still an amateur then, the rankings gap between the World Champion and the world number one may narrow considerably after a week in Blackpool.
A victory for Van Gerwen in his potential second-round match against Lewis - who is defending nearly 9% of his income - could confirm the two former World Champions' places in the Order of Merit, or a loss could mark a dramatic turning point in the trajectory of his dominant career.
Mervyn King and Steve Beaton, the surprise quarter-finalists of the 2016 event, will need to match those heroics with similarly outstanding performances this year to avoid falling down the Order of Merit.
King in particular has the steepest hill to climb; unless he can defeat World Champion Cross in his first match, he will lose £10,500 of ranking money and fall from 21st to at least 23rd in the world.
Beaton's assignment is to eliminate Mensur Suljovic, but even a run to the second round would not be sufficient to retain his position as world number 24.
This is the conundrum of major-event success; every achievement must be backed up two years later.
In the face of an unusually large group of young, talented World Matchplay debutants, some veteran players may find that the competitive realities of darts have changed dramatically in those two years.
Full Ranking Permutations Table:
|2016 earnings||Current OoM total||% of OoM to be lost after Matchplay|
|Qualified 2016; did not qualify 2018||T. Jenkins||10000||79750||12.54%|
|van der Voort||6000||124750||4.81%|
|van de Pas||6000||207750||2.89%|
|Minimum 2018 earnings||Current OoM total||% of OoM to be gained after Matchplay|
|Qualified 2018; did not qualify 2016||de Zwaan||7000||36500||19.18%|
|2016 earnings minus minimum 2018 earnings||Current OoM total||% of OoM to be defended at Matchplay|
|2016 Winner||A. Lewis||20000||230750||8.67%|
|Second round||K. Anderson||3000||171250||1.75%|