The PDC Super Series gets underway in Coventry with players battling it out in players Championship events 17-20.
There’s a 120-runner strong field, with 110 Tour Card holders joined by Associate Member players from a combined Qualifying Schools Final Stage Order of Merit.
Prize money stands at the usual £75,000 per event and those ranking points could prove all important with the World Matchplay just around the corner.
Winter Gardens Places up for Grabs
Big-hitters Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright are all in action and they are assured of their place at Winter Gardens along with their fellow top-16 players on the PDC Order of Merit. They will be joined by the top-16 chuckers on the ProTour Order of Merit not to have already qualified, and that is where this week gets interesting.
The top-nine names on that list, which include the likes of Devon Petersen, Luke Humphries and Mensur Suljovic, are assured of their place in Blackpool, while Vincent van der Voort, Callan Rydz, Ross Smith, Ryan Searle and Ian White would need an crazy turn of events not to qualify for the World Matchplay.
That leaves two spots that a whole host of players are in contention for. Jermaine Wattimena is best placed of those, but a good run this week could see the likes of Madars Razma, Stephen Bunting, Darius Labanauskas and Raymond van Barneveld secure a spot.
The draw for this week’s Super Series events could prove crucial and even for those players that have already qualified for the Matchplay, a good run would be a welcome confidence boost prior to the Winter Gardens showdown.
There are some interesting first-round matches in Coventry and Adrian Lewis’ clash with Danny Baggish is top of the list.
The Gambler has made the move to the UK after winning his Tour Card at Q-School, but he looks unlikely to cash in against Jackpot. Lewis is producing some decent numbers on the Pro Tour, sure he isn’t reaching his World Championship winning level, but he is clearly outperforming Baggish and the Stoke man can be backed to make round two.
Scotty Dog to Edge Out Voltage
Another game worth looking at is the clash between Rob Cross and Scott Mitchell. Voltage isn’t performing anywhere near his best and looking at the Pro Tour averages this campaign, he doesn’t have a great deal in hand over Mitchell. Scotty Dog is a quality operator and the former BDO World Champion won’t shy away from a clash against a big-name player.
It’s possible that Mitchell may just outrun his odds in this contest and he looks worthy of support.