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Premier League Darts turns 3Arena into a Party Palace

Photo by Michiel on Pexels

The Premier League Darts makes a stop in Dublin. On Thursday evening, thousands of fans of the flying darts gathered to see their idols live in Dublin’s 3Arena. Tickets for the event sold out months ago and the fans were not promised too much in terms of sport. We summarize all the events of the evening.

Photo by Picography on Pexels

For all those who are not (yet) darts fans, here is a brief explanation of the rules: The players stand 2.37m away from the dartboard, with each attempt the player has three darts to achieve the highest possible score, the highest score being 180 points. Darts is played in so-called legs, the aim of the game is to play down from 501 points to 0, whereby the last throw must land in a double field. For example, if a player has 32 points left, he needs to hit the double 16 segment on the dartboard. In the Premier League, the first player to win 6 legs wins the game. To illustrate this, here is a simple explanation of the structure of a dartboard.

Photo by Engin Aykurt on Pexels. Edited by Maximilian Szostak for TheCircular.org

It promised to be a high-class event right from the start, with the 8 best darts players in the world facing each other in a total of 7 matches. Four quarter-finals will be played, the winners of which will qualify for one of the two semi-finals, with the winners of these matches then facing each other in the grand final of the evening. The special feature of the Premier League Darts: unlike conventional tournaments, the Premier League is played in a different location every Thursday. The winner of an evening receives 5 points and 10,000 pounds in prize money, the runner-up receives 3 points and the other semi-finalists receive 2 points. These points are added up in an overall table which, after 17 match days, decides who moves on to the play-offs at the O2 in London. There, the 4 best-placed players play for 275,000 pounds in prize money.

The first match of the evening was played by the current world champion against two-time world and European champion Peter Wright. However, “Cool Hand Luke”, as Luke Humphries is called by the fans, gave crowd favorite Wright no chance and defeated him 6:1, impressively securing the 29-year-old Englishman the first semi-final place of the evening. The following match was much more intense in sporting terms, with Nathan “The Asp” Aspinall and Rob “Voltage” Cross facing each other in a rematch of the Matchday 5 final. After a tough battle, Aspinall finally prevailed 6:5 and followed Humphries into the semi-finals. It was already clear that Aspinall and Humphries would meet in the first semi-final of the evening.

The remaining two quarter finals of the evening were just as tough as the first two. World number five Gerwin Price prevailed 6:5 against the reigning world number two, Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, with Price playing an impressive average of over 90 points and leaving van Gerwen little chance on the doubles. The last quarterfinal of the evening was contested by 2023 World Champion Michael Smith and 16-year-old darts prodigy Luke Littler. After a strong start by Littler, however, Smith was able to prevail 6:4 against the 2024 World Championship finalist.

Michael Smith did not miss a beat in the following semi-final against a strong playing Gerwyn Price and used his strong form of the day. After 10 legs Smith was 6:4 up in the grand final of the evening. He was followed shortly afterwards by world number one and current world champion Luke Humphries, who made short work of Nathan Aspinall with a 6:4. So everything was set for an interesting final, Humphries, who had won his last 8 matches, met Premier League specialist and three-time semi-finalist Smith. In the duel between the two Englishmen, the world number one prevailed impressively 6:2 to claim his third matchday win of the season and extend his current winning run to 9 games in a row.

In sporting terms, the event in Dublin was a complete success, the fans were offered a lot, but they also offered a lot to the television viewers. Dressed in colourful costumes and carrying signs, the fans in the stands also gave their all to cheer on their favourite players. After his victory, the day’s winner Humphries acknowledged: “That was probably the loudest crowd I’ve heard this year.” What remains is a great night for fans and players in the Party Palace of Dublin’s 3Arena.

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