PDC World Grand Prix
The PDC World Grand Prix has been running since 1998 where it began life at The Casino Rooms in Rochester as a replacement for the World Pairs tournament. It moved onto the Crosbie Cedars Hotel in Rosslare, County Wexford for one year in 2000 before finding its current home at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin where it has been since 2001.
Paddy Power were early sponsors and were succeeded by Sky Bet in 2004 who's deal ran until 2009. Bodog.com became the sponsor in 2010, 2011 saw yet another new sponsor in PartyPoker.net. The tournament has always be screened by Sky TV.
The format is 'double in, double out', meaning players must start and end the leg with a double or centre bull. The format is also very short - best of 3 legs in the first round. This makes it ripe for shocks early on and is well illustrated by Phil Taylor's performances over the years. Until 2010 where he lost in the semi-final to Adrian Lewis, The Power had either gone out in the first round or won the title! Proof that getting through that first round is so important.
The current format has only been in place since 2003 - prior to this some experimentation went on to find the right blend. Originally a legs 'matchplay' race, the format siwtched to sets with a group stage and eventually to the current knock out format.
The other three players to lift the trophy other than Phil Taylor are Alan Warriner in 2001, Colin Lloyd in 2004, and James Wade in 2007 and 2010. Phil Taylor regained the title in 2011 making it 10 WGP wins in total.
The 2011 tournament also saw Irishman Brendan Dolan hit the events first ever 9 dart leg or '9 darter'. A feat never before achieved in the double start and finish format in front of the cameras. The perfect leg was achieved during his semi-final victory over the defending champion James Wade.