THE inaugural Players Championship will be opened by Vincent van der Voort against Chris Mason on Friday January 30.

The £200,000 tournament will see top-class darts return to Purfleet’s Circus Tavern, with ITV4 screening live coverage over three days from the famous Essex venue.

Friday’s first round games will begin with the clash between quick-fire Dutchman Vincent van der Voort and Chris Mason.

Essex’s Colin Lloyd takes on emerging Leicestershire star Jamie Caven in the afternoon session’s second game, while Ronnie Baxter meets Tony Eccles in the third best-of-11 leg match.

Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts stars Terry Jenkins and Mervyn King face Wayne Jones and Felix McBrearty before Colin Osborne takes on Andy Smith.

The opening session will conclude with the meeting of Dennis Priestley – who won the first ever PDC World Championship staged at the Circus Tavern in 1994 – and Southend’s Steve Maish.

Friday’s evening session will see the first round conclude, and opens with the eagerly-awaited clashes of Kevin Painter and Alex Roy and Alan Tabern against Adrian Lewis.

Three Purfleet World Champions, Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld and John Part, will also be in action on Friday night, alongside new world number two James Wade, who meets Steve Beaton.

Taylor – the number one seed for the tournament after winning 11 Players Championships in 2008 – meets Holland’s young star Michael van Gerwen, while van Barneveld is drawn against Andy Jenkins and Part faces Denis Ovens.

Andy Hamilton takes on three-time World Championship finalist Peter Manley, while Scottish ace Robert Thornton faces Mark Dudbridge and Romford’s Wayne Mardle meets Mark Walsh.

Saturday’s afternoon session sees the second round take place, with the evening session featuring the quarter-finals.

Sunday will see the semi-finals take place in the afternoon session before the evening’s final decides the £50,000 champion.

Tickets are still on sale from the Circus Tavern Box Office on 01708 863838 or 01708 867271.

Friday January 30
First Round
Afternoon Session
1.00pm – Vincent van der Voort v Chris Mason
1.35pm – Colin Lloyd v Jamie Caven
2.10pm – Ronnie Baxter v Tony Eccles
2.45pm – Terry Jenkins v Wayne Jones
3.20pm – Mervyn King v Felix McBrearty
3.55pm – Colin Osborne v Andy Smith
4.30pm – Dennis Priestley v Steve Maish
Tickets £15

Evening Session
6.15pm – Kevin Painter v Alex Roy
6.50pm – Alan Tabern v Adrian Lewis
7.25pm – Andy Hamilton v Peter Manley
8.00pm – James Wade v Steve Beaton
8.35pm – Robert Thornton v Mark Dudbridge
9.10pm – Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen
9.45pm – Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Jenkins
10.20pm – Denis Ovens v John Part
10.55pm – Mark Walsh v Wayne Mardle
Tickets £20

Saturday January 30
Second Round
Afternoon Session
1.00pm – Tabern/Lewis v Thornton/Dudbridge
1.35pm – Priestley/Maish v Ovens/Part
2.10pm – Osborne/Smith v van Barneveld/A Jenkins
2.45pm – Wade/Beaton v Painter/Roy
3.20pm – King/McBrearty v Walsh/Mardle
3.55pm – Baxter/Eccles v T Jenkins/Jones
4.30pm – Lloyd/Caven v Hamilton/Manley
5.05pm – Taylor/van Gerwen v van der Voort/Mason
Tickets £20

Evening Session
6.15pm – Priestley/Maish/Ovens/Part v Tabern/Lewis/Thornton/Dudbridge
7.25pm – Wade/Beaton/Painter/Roy v Osborne/Smith/van Barneveld/A Jenkins
8.35pm – Baxter/Eccles/T Jenkins/Jones v King/McBrearty/Walsh/Mardle
9.45pm – Taylor/van Gerwen/van der Voort/Mason v Lloyd/Caven/Hamilton/Manley
Tickets £25

Sunday February 1
Afternoon Session
1.00pm – Semi-Final
Not Before 3pm – Semi Final
Tickets £25

Evening Session
7.15pm – Final
Tickets £30

First Round – Best of 11 legs
Second Round – Best of 11 legs
Quarter-Finals – Best of 17 legs
Semi-Finals – Best of 25 legs
Final – Best of 31 legs

Tickets are still on sale from the Circus Tavern Box Office on 01708 863838 or 01708 867271.

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