The Winmau World Masters has been running since 1974, predating the World Championship even, and is still going strong alongside the Worlds as the only two majors left in the BDO calendar. Darts manufacturer Winmau have sponsored the event since 1976 and have a contract until 2015. The first sponsor was Phonogram in 1974 and 1975.

The venue has changed regularly over the years found a home in Bridlington in recent times, but 2010 saw the event travel southwards down the coast to Hull City Hall. The 2011 event remains in Hull but moves venue to the Hull Arena and will be shown live and exclusively by sports media company ESPN, ending a 9 year relationship with the BBC. Previous broadcasters include ITV and Sky.

World Masters weekend also features the play offs for the Lakeside World Championship and is a critical time of the season for all those players hoping to make it to Frimley Green.

Eric Bristow won the World Masters 5 times and was the only person other than Bob Anderson to successfully defend the title. Anderson actually won it 3 times on the trot between 1986 and 1988. However,Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams started his 3 year stranglehold on the tournament in 2008, and 2011 sees him top seeded in his attempt to defend and take his 4th title. They are three of eleven players to have won both the World Masters and World Championship but only five have won both in the same season – Bristow (who did it 3 times), Adams (twice to date) and Anderson are joined by Richie Burnett and John Walton in this exclusive club. Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld held both at the same time but they were won in different seasons…which tough as it seems doesn’t count!

van Barneveld lifted the title twice before switching to the PDC and has Dave Whitcombe and John Lowe for company as double winners of this prestigious title. Michael van Gerwen became the youngest ever winner in 2006 when he shocked Martin Adams who up until 2008 had failed to get his hands on the trophy.

Robert Thornton took the honours in 2007, which to date his is only major title, despite switching to play his darts in the tournament rich PDC.

World Masters Mens Roll Of Honour

Venues

1974-1976 West Centre Hotel, Fulham
1977 Wembley Conference Centre
1978 Horticultural Hall, Victoria, London
1979-1981 Wembley Conference Centre
1982-1989 Rainbow Suite, Kensington
1990-1991 Ramada Inn. Lillie Road, West London
1992-1995 Earls Court, London
1996-1997 Paragon Hotel, Lillie Road, London
1998-2001 Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green Surrey
2002-2005 Bridlington Spa Royal Hall
2006-2007 Leisure World, Bridlington
2008-2009 Bridlington Spa Royal Hall
2010 Hull City Hall
2011-present Hull Arena