DARTS’ top names will descend on South Yorkshire next weekend for the Cash Converters Players Championship, which will be held from December 8-11 at the Doncaster Dome.

The £250,000 tournament will feature stars including 15-time World Champion Phil Taylor, Holland’s five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, Premier League Darts champion Gary Anderson and world number three James Wade.

The tournament – screened live on ITV4 – will kick off on Thursday December 8, with the opening eight games from the first round being played.

Derby’s Jamie Caven will meet emerging star Scott Rand in the tournament’s opening game, with recent Grand Slam of Darts semi-finalist Mark Walsh facing Mark Hylton and Peter Wright playing Denis Ovens before three former World Champions enter the fray.

Dutch star van Barneveld clashes with Blackpool’s Ronnie Baxter, Canada’s three-time World Champion John Part meets Wolverhampton’s Wayne Jones and Wales’ former World Champion Richie Burnett plays UK Open runner-up Wes Newton.

2010 Players Championship Finals winner Paul Nicholson begins his bid for a second win in the event against Bristol’s Steve Brown, and June’s UK Open champion James Wade takes on Andy Smith.

Friday’s remaining eight first round games include reigning champion Taylor taking on Terry Jenkins, while Scotland’s world number four Anderson plays Michael van Gerwen.

Friday night opens with the all-St Helens battle befween debutant Dave Chisnall and Alan Tabern, with Colin Osborne playing Kevin Painter and Dutch pair Vincent van der Voort and Co Stompe then clashing.

Mervyn King, the 2010 runner-up, plays Colin Lloyd before number one seed Justin Pipe – the winner of three Players Championships in recent weeks – takes on John Henderson.

Former World Champions Mark Webster and Steve Beaton meet in the night’s other game, with the second round split across two sessions on Saturday December 10.

The tournament comes to a climax with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final split across two sessions on Sunday December 11 as players compete for the £60,000 title.

Players competed in 31 one-day Players Championship events during 2011 to qualify for the event, which features the leading 32 money earners from those tournaments.

However, world number five Simon Whitlock withdrew as he continues his recovery from a broken bone in his ankle, paving the way for John Henderson to compete in Doncaster, while Adrian Lewis missed out on qualification by one place in the Players Championship Order of Merit.

Tickets are available all sessions of the Cash Converters Players Championship, either in person from the Doncaster Dome Box Office or by calling 01302 370 777, with a buy one, get one free offer available for tickets for the opening night on Thursday December 8.

Cash Converters Players Championship
Schedule of Play

Thursday December 8 (7pm-11pm)
First Round
7.05pm Jamie Caven v Scott Rand
7.35pm Mark Walsh v Mark Hylton
8.05pm Peter Wright v Denis Ovens
8.35pm John Part v Wayne Jones
9.05pm Wes Newton v Richie Burnett
9.35pm Ronnie Baxter v Raymond van Barneveld
10.05pm James Wade v Andy Smith
10.35pm Paul Nicholson v Steve Brown

Friday December 9 (7pm-11pm)
First Round
7.05pm Dave Chisnall v Alan Tabern
7.35pm Colin Osborne v Kevin Painter
8.05pm Vincent van der Voort v Co Stompe
8.35pm Mervyn King v Colin Lloyd
9.05pm Justin Pipe v John Henderson
9.35pm Phil Taylor v Terry Jenkins
10.05pm Mark Webster v Steve Beaton
10.35pm Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen

Saturday December 10
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Second Round
1.05pm Newton/Burnett v Wright/Ovens
2.05pm Part/Jones v Walsh/Hylton
3.05pm Nicholson/Brown v Wade/Smith
4.05pm Baxter/Barneveld v Caven/Rand

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Second Round
7.05pm van der Voort/Stompe v Chisnall/Tabern
8.05pm Pipe/Henderson v Webster/Beaton
9.05pm Taylor/Jenkins v King/Lloyd
10.05pm Anderson/van Gerwen v Osborne/Painter

Sunday December 11
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)
Quarter-Finals
1.05pm Part/Jones/Walsh/Hylton v Newton/Burnett/Wright/Ovens
2.05pm Baxter/van Barneveld/Caven/Rand v Nicholson/Brown/Wade/Smith
3.05pm Anderson/van Gerwen/Osborne/Painter v Taylor/Jenkins/King/Lloyd
4.05pm Pipe/Henderson/Webster/Beaton v van der Voort/Stompe/Chisnall/Tabern

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Semi-Finals
7.05pm
8.15pm
Order to be decided by coin toss

Final
9.45pm

Format
First Round Best of 11 legs
Second Round Best of 15 legs
Quarter-Finals Best of 17 legs
Semi-Finals Best of 19 legs
Final Best of 25 legs

Source – PDC/Lawrence Lustig