The 2009 Premier League may be months away but the race is on for prized places in the £400,000 bonanza.
The winner will pocket a cool £125,000 and already Phil Taylor is odds-on with the bookies to make it five in a row.
There is no sign of the Premier League popularity waning and the sell-out signs are expected to go up all around the UK once again….there will be two new bigger venues in Exeter and Edinburgh as darts fans clamour for tickets to this hugely popular tournament.
But who will we be seeing week-in, week-out, every Thursday from February 5, when the PL kicks-off in front of 8,000 fans at the Liverpool Echo Arena?
The current top 4 in the world are all guaranteed their spots….Taylor, Barney, Wade and Part but the qualifying criteria for automatic places has changed.
The cut-off point for the top six in the World rankings will now be in January after the World Championship instead of October after the World Grand Prix in Dublin.
That must be a good thing because it guarantees the World Champion an automatic spot and the runner-up at the Alexandra Palace should also be rewarded…..it will also make the World Championship a touch more exciting, with several players battling it out to make the Premier League.
Terry Jenkins is currently at No.5 in the world but he is defending over £30,000 in the PDC Order of Merit, so the pressure will start to build. The likes of Mardle, Lewis, Hamilton, Lloyd and Scholten are still very much in the mix.
And of course, if somebody comes from ‘left field’ in Dublin or the Ally Pally, they will push themselves into contention.
The two remaining Wildcard places will be announced after the World Championship in January and it would be good to see one or two new faces competing in 2009 but it is now over to the players!
They all know exactly what they have to do to join the Premier League party.
Who would you like to see in the 2009 Premier League? Let me know!