THE groups for the inaugural Championship League Darts have been confirmed – with Phil Taylor and James Wade among the players to compete on the opening day of the new event.

The new tournament, staged at Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex, will see players compete in eight-man groups on eight days throughout September and October, with the league winners then progressing to the Winners Group on Thursday October 23.

Each day will see the eight players meet once in a round robin format, with the top four progressing to two semi-finals and the winners then playing off in the final to determine a league winner from that group.

Each day’s champion will progress to the Winners Group whilst the bottom two players in each day’s league table will be eliminated from the competition.

The remaining five players will progress to the next day’s League where they will be joined by the next three highest ranked eligible players, based on the PDC Order of Merit after the Stan James World Matchplay.

The opening day will feature Phil Taylor, James Wade, Terry Jenkins, Wayne Mardle, Andy Hamilton, Colin Lloyd, Roland Scholten and Alan Tabern.

Dennis Priestley, Ronnie Baxter and Kevin Painter will come in for Group Two.

World number two Raymond van Barneveld, who is taking a two-month sabbatical from darts following the World Matchplay, and Canadian-based John Part are not taking part in Championship League Darts, while Adrian Lewis is unavailable for the first two groups as he completes a two-month suspension.

League matches will be the best of ten legs, with the first player to reach six legs deemed the winner with no further legs played, or the two league points being shared for a 5-5 draw.

Semi-Finals will be the best of 11 legs and the final will be the best of 13 legs.

Prize money in the group phase is £50 per leg won during the round robin games and £100 per leg won in the semi-finals and final.

In the Winners Group on Thursday October 23, prize money increases to £100 per leg won in the group matches and £200 per leg won in the semi-finals and final.

The semi-final losers from the Winners Group will also receive £2,500, the runner-up will receive £5,000 and the winner receives £10,000 and a place in the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

Overall, there is an achieveable prize fund of £189,000 on offer in the nine days of Championship League Darts, putting it in the top ten richest darts tournaments in the world, despite only being available through the internet.

Each day’s play will begin at 11am, and is expected to finish at around 8pm, with live streaming of all games on www.ladbrokes.com and www.bet365.com, with further announcements in the next week about other bookmaker partners.

To view the Championship League Darts, users must be registered with the specific website but there is no commitment to placing bets. The stream will be available internationally, except in the United States of America, where for legal reasons it cannot be shown.

Championship League Darts Group
Group One – Tuesday September 2
Phil Taylor
James Wade
Terry Jenkins
Wayne Mardle
Andy Hamilton
Roland Scholten
Colin Lloyd
Alan Tabern
Click here for Group One fixtures: http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/LatestDetail/0,,10180~1378398,00.html

Group Two – Wednesday September 3
Players 2-6 from Group One plus
Ronnie Baxter
Kevin Painter
Mervyn King

Group Three – Monday September 22
Players 2-6 from Group Two plus
Adrian Lewis
Colin Osborne
Denis Ovens

Group Four – Tuesday September 23
Players 2-6 from Group Three plus
Peter Manley
Mark Dudbridge
Vincent van der Voort

Group Five – Wednesday September 24
Players 2-6 from Group Four plus
Chris Mason
Kirk Shepherd
Andy Jenkins

Group Six – Thursday September 25
Players 2-6 from Group Five plus
Barrie Bates
Andy Smith
Mark Walsh

Group Seven – Tuesday October 21
Players 2-6 from Group Six plus
Dennis Priestley
Adrian Gray
Wayne Jones

Group Eight – Wednesday October 22
Players 2-6 from Group Seven plus
Mick McGowan
Alex Roy
Wes Newton

Winners Group – Thursday October 23
All eight group winners

Please Note – should Phil Taylor, James Wade or Wayne Mardle finish from 2-6 in Group Five, they would not be able to compete in Group Six due to their commitments in the Emperors Palace South African Masters. Therefore, if needed, Adrian Gray, Wayne Jones and Mick McGowan (in that order of invitation) would be invited to compete in Group Six in their place and the invitations for Group Seven and Group Eight may be affected accordingly.

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