The 2022 Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals gets underway on Friday, as the AFAS Live plays host to the 24-player event in Amsterdam.
The eighth staging of the World Series of Darts Finals will see four sessions of action take place across three days from September 16-18, as the sport’s biggest names compete for £300,000 in prize money.
The eight seeded players – based on World Series Order of Merit ranking – enter the tournament in Saturday’s second round, with the 16 invited players and qualifiers locking horns in Friday’s first round.
Reigning champion Jonny Clayton claimed the spoils in Amsterdam last year, and the Welshman begins the defence of his title against either World Cup winner Simon Whitlock or UK Open Champion Danny Noppert on Saturday night.
"There are no easy games. Simon and Danny are both playing well, but I prefer that, because you know what you have to do," said Clayton, a winner at last month's New South Wales Darts Masters.
"If you don't turn up and play your A-game, you're not going to win that match.
"I've had an up and down season so far, so hopefully things are starting to fall into place. I haven't won as many trophies as last year, but it's a different pressure.
"People are chasing you, instead of you chasing them. As an underdog it's a much easier game, but I still feel like I'm playing well, so I'm happy.
"Any trophy you pick up is a fantastic achievement, so I'm looking forward to going back to try and defend my title."
Clayton defeated Dimitri Van den Bergh to claim the £70,000 top prize 12 months ago, and the Belgian returns as the top seed in this year’s showpiece.
The 28-year-old secured back-to-back wins at the Nordic Darts Masters and Dutch Darts Masters in June, and having already triumphed in Amsterdam this year, Van den Bergh is hoping for a repeat performance.
Michael van Gerwen is one of four Dutch stars returning to home soil this weekend, and he will play the winner of the all-Australian clash between Damon Heta and Gordon Mathers in the last 16.
Van Gerwen toppled Gerwyn Price to prevail at the Queensland Darts Masters last month, and the 33-year-old is now looking to add a fifth World Series Finals title to his extensive haul.
World Champion Peter Wright will headline Friday’s opening night when he faces Women’s World Matchplay Champion Fallon Sherrock for the right to take on third seed Michael Smith.
Smith, who lifted the US Darts Masters title in the PDC’s first visit to New York in June, is aiming to recapture the form that catapulted him to five titles in as many weeks earlier this summer.
“I just want to get there and get my A-game going,” said Smith, a World Series Finals runner-up in 2018.
"If you can get a win under your belt, a few good runs, it can set you up for a good few weeks leading up to the Worlds.
“When I won in New York I won three straight Pro Tours. Hopefully I can do the same here, because almost every [event] is TV now, so if I could win three TV majors on the spin that would be good!
“I feel good. I’m practising well at the minute, so hopefully it pays off this weekend.”
World number one Price plays home favourite Vincent van der Voort or Canada’s Matt Campbell, while 2018 winner James Wade will meet North American Championship winner Leonard Gates or South African number one Devon Petersen.
Elsewhere, seventh seed Joe Cullen will face either Dave Chisnall or Jamie Hughes in his opener, with two-time World Champion Gary Anderson up against Dutch Darts Masters runner-up Dirk van Duijvenbode or New Zealand’s Haupai Puha.
The three-day tournament continues with the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon, before the semi-finals and final take place on a blockbuster evening session in Amsterdam.
The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV3 & ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding subscribers based in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
Jack's World Series of Darts Finals
(1) Dimitri Van den Bergh v Danny Baggish/Ryan Joyce
(8) Gary Anderson v Haupai Puha/Dirk van Duijvenbode
(4) Michael van Gerwen v Gordon Mathers/Damon Heta
(5) Jonny Clayton v Simon Whitlock/Danny Noppert
(2) Gerwyn Price v Matt Campbell/Vincent van der Voort
(7) Joe Cullen v Jamie Hughes/Dave Chisnall
(3) Michael Smith v Fallon Sherrock/Peter Wright
(6) James Wade v Leonard Gates/Devon Petersen
Schedule of Play
Friday September 16 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
First Round x8
Danny Baggish v Ryan Joyce
Jamie Hughes v Dave Chisnall
Gordon Mathers v Damon Heta
Haupai Puha v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Leonard Gates v Devon Petersen
Fallon Sherrock v Peter Wright
Matt Campbell v Vincent van der Voort
Simon Whitlock v Danny Noppert
Saturday September 17 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x8
Gary Anderson v Puha/Van Duijvenbode
James Wade v Gates/Petersen
Joe Cullen v Hughes/Chisnall
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Baggish/Joyce
Gerwyn Price v Campbell/Van der Voort
Michael van Gerwen v Mathers/Heta
Michael Smith v Sherrock/Wright
Jonny Clayton v Whitlock/Noppert
Sunday September 18
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)