JEFF SMITH and Leonard Gates were the first players to secure places in the Dafabet US Darts Masters and Dafabet North American Championship at Tuesday's Qualifiers in Las Vegas.

Canadian ace Smith took glory in the 2018 North American Championship, and will defend his title on Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort.

The 43-year-old from New Brunswick defeated fellow Canadian Matt Campbell 4-3 in their Qualifier One final, coming from 3-2 down to claim the place in both the North American Championship and the US Darts Masters.

Smith dropped just three legs in his first four matches, defeating Joseph Newman, Shawn Burt, Nick Georgeson and Elliot Milk, before picking up a 4-2 win over Daniel Baggish in the quarter-finals.

He then overcame fellow Canadian David Cameron - a qualifier in Las Vegas for the past two years - in the semi-finals with a 4-1 victory before defying finishes of 100, 126 and 147 in the final against Campbell with a 13-darter in the deciding leg.

Campbell had produced the outstanding display of Qualifier One with a 108.5 average in his win over experienced American Roger Carter, but the 29-year-old from Hamilton had to settle for second place to Smith.

"It's phenomenal for me," said Smith. "I'm so pleased - my finishes were good and when it came the time to hit, I hit, so I'm happy.

"I showed a little bit of my experience in the final. I could see he tensed up a little bit at the end there, and it's all about exploiting the situation.

"I've been around a long time playing darts and you know when it's time to put the foot on the gas, and luckily I did that in the last leg."

Smith lost out to Michael van Gerwen in the US Darts Masters 12 months ago, but had secured a World Championship spot with his North American Championship triumph.

"Last year was such a highlight for me, it was amazing," he added. "I've had a Tour Card and then lost it but picking up a manager last year has allowed me to play darts with no pressure, and it's such a difference.

"I'm ready to go and looking forward to the task ahead later this week. I'm not going to shy away from the challenge - if you get the chance to play these guys, it's a feather in your cap. These events are huge for darts in North America."

Leonard Gates (PDC)

Gates, meanwhile, will make his televised debut on Thursday after defeating 2018 North American Championship runner-up John Norman Jnr 4-2 to win the Qualifier Two final, coming from two legs down to take victory.

The 48-year-old from Houston also defeated Canadian World Cup ace Jim Long 4-1 in the semi-finals amongst seven victories to secure his spot alongside Smith.

"Thursday is going to be a whole new adventure for me," said Gates, a former Minor League Baseball player.

"I might not show it on the outside but the inside is full of joy - but I also know that there's more to come and I have to keep myself calm.

"It's another opportunity for me. I want to be prepared and I'll be practising hard on Wednesday to get ready.

"It's going to be exciting - I have to what I do on the board. This is the first time I've made it through so we're going to see what happens after this."

The US Darts Masters and North American Championship Qualifiers conclude on Wednesday with the third and fourth events, with those two winners to be joined by four players from the Qualifiers Order of Merit in claiming big-stage places.

Thursday will see the US Darts Masters first round - where the eight PDC stars take on the eight qualifiers - followed by the North American Championship,

The US Darts Masters concludes on Friday at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of the World Series of Darts event. For tickets, visit www.axs.com.

See full results & stats through DartConnect:
Qualifier One
Qualifier Two

Qualifier One
Click here for full Qualifier One Results
Quarter-Finals

Alex Reyes 4-1 Robert Phillips
Matt Campbell 4-1 Shawn Brenneman
David Cameron 4-1 Gary Mawson
Jeff Smith 4-2 Daniel Baggish

Semi-Finals
Matt Campbell 4-3 Alex Reyes
Jeff Smith 4-1 David Cameron

Final
Jeff Smith 4-3 Matt Campbell

Qualifier Two
Click here for full Qualifier Two Results
Quarter-Finals

John Norman Jnr 4-3 Rod Snow
Darin Young 4-3 Gary Mawson
Jim Long 4-2 Joseph Chaney
Leonard Gates 4-2 Matt Campbell

Semi-Finals
John Norman Jnr 4-1 Darin Young
Leonard Gates 4-1 Jim Long

Final
Leonard Gates 4-2 John Norman Jnr

Qualifiers' Order of Merit
Following Qualifier Two

Pos Player Name Total $
1 Leonard Gates 2,300
2 Jeff Smith 2,000
3 Matt Campbell 1,500
4 Darin Young 1,050
5 Gary Mawson 1,000
6 John Norman Jnr 1,000
7 David Cameron 950
8 Alejandro Reyes 950
9 Jim Long 850
10 Daniel Baggish 800
11 Robert Phillips 700
12 Shawn Brenneman 700
13 David DePriest 600
14 Larry Butler 500
15 Patrick Gibson 500
16 DJ Sayre 500
17 Joseph Chaney 500
18 Rod Snow 500
19 Elliot Milk 400
20 Nick Linberg 400
21 Jacob Womack 400
22 Willy Walker 400
23 Kiley Edmunds 400
24 Daniel Lauby 400
25 Chuck Puleo 300
26 Danny Delfino 300
27 Anthony Rohlfing 300
28 Tyler Rettie 300
29 Roger Carter 300
30 Nick Georgeson 300
31 Kyle Liddeke 300
32 Shawn Burt 300
33 Dan Olson 300
34 Julian Mixon 300
35 David Fatum 300
36 Brian Jackson 200
37 Ross Snook 200
38 David Richardson 200
39 Gary Brooks 200
40 Mitchell Cabot 200
41 Jason Hann 200
42 Chris White 200
43 Paul Schwindamann 200
44 Joe Brooks 200
45 Logan Crooks 200
46 Junjie Li 200
47 David Tarso 200
48 Rob Dixon 200
49 Joseph Huffman 200
50 David Flowers 200
51 Aaron Stark 200
52 Jim Widmayer 200
53 Richard Frattaroli 200
54 Ronald Looker 200
55 James Luebke 200
56 Daniel Robbins 200
57 Nathan Squires 200
58 Steve Tuerck 200
59 Bruce Robbins 200
60 Trevor Buboltz 200
61 Michael Burns 200
62 Rick Adcock 100
63 John Liggett 100
64 Ken Hwang 100
65 Kenny MacNeil 100
66 Scott Wells 100
67 Eric Sickler 100
68 Dawson Murschell 100
69 Wade Henderson 100
70 Nick McCoy 100
71 Wesley White 100
72 David Marshall 100
73 Don Campos 100
74 Vaughan Lightowler 100
75 Tim Sheehan 100
76 Jeremiah Millar 100
77 Jayson Barlow 100
78 Sean Smyth 100
79 Kevin Delgado 100
80 Joseph Newman 100
81 Nick Rivera 100
82 Rod Tobin 100
83 Russ Lopez 100
84 Matt Smooke 100
85 Brad Powell 100
86 Albert Smith 100
87 Dustin Jensen 100
88 Chris Lim 100
89 Timmy Nicoll 100