Players Championship Finals: 1-64 ranked by average

Michael van Gerwen (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Official Statistical Analyst of the PDC, Christopher Kempf, has ranked the 64-player field for the 2019 Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals by their three-dart average so far this year.

Kicking off on Friday, the three-day event at Butlin's Minehead Resort will see the top 64 players from the 2019 Players Championship Order of Merit in action from November 22-24.

Play on the opening two days of the event will be split across two stages, with the action on the main stage accompanied by games in the popular Reds venue.

The main stage action will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

Matches from stage two on Friday and Saturday will be streamed live for PDCTV-HD Subscribers at

Players Championship Finals player averages for 2019 (PDC)

Players can expect to throw between 10,000 and 30,000 darts in PDC matches over the course of a year, contesting as many as 2,000 legs along the way.

The final televised event on the PDC calendar before the World Championship, and the culmination of a 30-event Players' Championship tour, the Players Championship Finals features players who managed to scrape together enough cash at floor events to earn the right to face one of the sport's elite performers on stage at Butlin's Minehead Resort.

Some of these players may never before have had the opportunity to play in a televised match.

Luke Woodhouse (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Consider the first-round match-up between reigning champion Daryl Gurney and Luke Woodhouse, who will be making his televised debut against a player with years of experience on stage and screen.

Woodhouse's one quarter-final appearance of 2019 at Players' Championship 18 helped him qualify for the tournament, giving him one chance, in a race to six, of landing a huge upset and securing the largest cash prize of his career.

Anything can happen in best-of-11, of course, but Woodhouse is seeded 51, appropriate to him having the 53rd highest average out of the Minehead field - overcoming Gurney's average advantage of nearly three points over the course of 2019 will be a tall order.

With so many matches on record from all players in 2019, and thanks to the exhaustive record-keeping made possible by DartConnect and Sportradar, we have a good sense of which players, on the evidence of their performances this year, inspire the most confidence in their potential to advance to the final day of the tournament.

Unsurprisingly, Michael van Gerwen is a massive statistical favourite to win the tournament - he not only has recorded the highest average of the year, but is also the player most likely to hit three trebles in a visit and check-out in three darts.

His opponent's strength, however, is belied by his seeding: World Youth Championship finalist Luke Humphries may be the 47th seed, but is in the top-half of the field when it comes to maximum scores and doubles to finish. 

Absences from particular Players Championship events can explain the unusual seedings of a player like Van Gerwen, who skips the majority of floor tournaments and thereby places further down the Players Championship Order of Merit table than would be expected.

Ron Meulenkamp (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

No player has been disadvantaged by this effect more than Ron Meulenkamp, who has been rewarded for his three semi-final appearances this year by drawing world number two Rob Cross, seeded 42 due to his absence from many floor tournaments.

Meulenkamp has been a more consistent finisher than his opponent and even makes the top eight of players ranked by three-darts-at-double accuracy, but faces a player with a 97.72 year average (after more than 23,000 darts thrown) in what figures to be the marquee match-up of Friday evening.

Mickey Mansell, world number 61, who was the last man to qualify into Minehead due to his placing 64th on the Players Championship Order of Merit, is penalised for his middling performance in 2019 by drawing the hottest property in darts at the moment, a rampaging Gerwyn Price.

Fresh off a demolition of Peter Wright in the Grand Slam final, and the top money earner in 2019 PDC floor tournaments, Price's 97.80 average for the year sets a huge statistical difference between Mansell and himself.

Nathan Aspinall is no stranger to winning at Minehead, but the draw has challenged him to produce the top-tier performance of which he is clearly capable.

Raymond van Barneveld (PDC Europe)

He has drawn Raymond van Barneveld, whose appearance in the final of Players Championship Eight helped qualify him for Minehead, in what will be his penultimate appearance in a PDC tournament.

Both players are liable to hit every double they encounter in their clash, as Aspinall is the second, and van Barneveld is the fifth most accurate with three darts.

If the Dutch legend, who is nearly twice the age of Aspinall, overcomes the UK Open champion, it may give him the impetus to reach the final or even win the event, which would result in his being seeded at the World Championship.

Favoured players cannot rely on their statistical advantages in the first two rounds as much as they would like, due to the best-of-11 format.

After thirty days of floor action in 2019, every player will be aware of the sudden hot streak or cold snap in a player's form over a few legs which can overrule any long-run proclivity.

The added challenge of the Players Championship Finals, of course, is that they will need to produce their best darts not in the silence of an event hall but in a boisterous leisure centre on the Somerset coast, with heat and noise and cameras and bright lights providing a substantial effect on players' performances that can't be quantified.