Thirty-two of the world’s greatest players descend on the Wolverhampton Civic Hall for the 2012 William Hill Grand Slam of Darts, live on Sky Sports.
Held over nine days, the competition was the first in the UK to see players from the sport’s rival organisations, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and the British Darts Organisation (BDO).
Since the inaugural tournament in 2007, this unique event has established itself as one of the toughest and most competitive tournaments on the world darts circuit, and is only open to the very best.
The lucky few include the winners of the last five PDC World Championships and the finalists of major televised tournaments over the past two years.
Reigning PDC world champion Adrian Lewis, 2011 Premier League conqueror Gary Anderson and October’s World Grand Prix winner Michael van Gerwen are just three of the big names looking to make their mark in 2012.
Representing the BDO will be their reigning world champion Cristian Kist, as well as 2012 runner-up Tony O’Shea, and 2010 Grand Slam winner Scott Waites.
Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey, who left the BDO following this year’s World Championships to join the PDC, will also be competing.
The task of unseating current king Phil Taylor isn’t one to take lightly though, as the 15-time world champion has made this tournament his own over the years and is now in line to tie up his fifth Grand Slam title after a masterful performance against Anderson in the 2011 final.
Taylor won the first three Grand Slam of Darts events in succession.
A comfortable semi-final success against Lewis left ‘The Power’ just one step away from regaining the crown he lost in 2010 and he made no mistake.
Anderson opened up a 2-1 lead with superb checkouts of 140 and 128, but it didn’t last.
Taylor’s response was to take the next seven legs in a row and his dominance was rarely under threat thereafter.
The unique format of the GSOD, the only televised PDC tournament to feature a round-robin stage, sees 32 players divided into eight four-man groups, with the top two in each proceed to the knockout stages.
Following the first eight days of drama and excitement on the Wolves Civic oche, the 2012 Grand Slam culminates on Sunday, November 18, with the semi-finals and final played across two sessions as players battle for the £100,000 first prize.
Sky Sports will screen the Grand Slam of Darts for the second time in 2012, after claiming the rights to the event last year.
Dave Clark presents live coverage all week, with commentary duties being shared by Rod Harrington, Wayne Mardle, Rod Studd, Stuart Pyke, John Gwynne, Nigel Pearson.
The draw for the group stages of the competition will be broadcast live on Free Radio 80s during the Sports Bar show from 6pm on Monday, November 5.
Free Radio 80s is available on DAB Digital Radio or via 990AM, 1017AM or 1152AM.
Group Stages: *denotes BDO playerGroup A Phil Taylor (1) Scott Waites* Mark Webster Co Stompe Group B Michael van Gerwen (8) Robert Thornton Ted Hankey Steve Beaton Group C Simon Whitlock (5) Kevin Painter Dean Winstanley James Hubbard Group D James Wade (4) Jan Dekker* Mervyn King Arron Monk Group E Adrian Lewis (2) Gary Anderson John Part Tony O’Shea* Group F Andy Hamilton (7) Paul Nicholson Brendan Dolan Barrie Bates Group G Wes Newton (6) Terry Jenkins Wesley Harms* Martin Phillips* Group H Christian Kist* (3) Raymond van Barneveld Mark Walsh Wayne Jones Format Group stage – Best of 9 legs Round 2 – Best of 19 leg Quarter Finals – Best of 31 legs Semi Finals – Best of 31 legs Final – Best of 31 legs Day 1 – Saturday 10th November 8x Group Stage matches – Groups A-D Kevin Painter 5-4 Dean Winstanley (C) Scott Waites 3-5 Mark Webster (A) Jan Dekker 1-5 Mervyn King (D) Robert Thornton 5-0 Ted Hankey (B) Michael van Gerwen 5-2 Steve Beaton (B) Phil Taylor 5-1 Co Stompe (A) Simon Whitlock 5-2 James Hubbard (C) James Wade 1-5 Arron Monk (D) LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 2 – Sunday 11th November Afternoon Session 8 x Group Stage matches – Groups E-H Paul Nicholson 2-5 Brendan Dolan (F)
Andy Hamilton 5-2 Barrie Bates (F)
Terry Jenkins 2-5 Wesley Harms (G)
Raymond van Barneveld 5-0 Mark Walsh (H)
Adrian Lewis 4-5 Tony O’Shea (E)
Gary Anderson 5-4 John Part (E)
Christian Kist 5-1 Wayne Jones (H)
Wes Newton 5-2 Martin Phillips (G) LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports 3 Evening Session 8 x Group Stage matches – Groups A-D Scott Waites 5-1 Co Stompe (A)
Ted Hankey 5-3 Steve Beaton (B)
James Wade 5-1 Jan Dekker (D)
Dean Winstanley 5-2 James Hubbard (C)
Mervyn King 5-3 Arron Monk (D)
Phil Taylor 5-2 Mark Webster (A)
Simon Whitlock 5-4 Kevin Painter (C)
Michael van Gerwen 5-3 Robert Thornton (B) LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 3 – Monday 12th November 8x Group Stage matches – Group E-H Mark Walsh 5-4 Wayne Jones (H)
Terry Jenkins 5-2 Martin Phillips (G)
Paul Nicholson 5-0 Barrie Bates (F)
Adrian Lewis 2-5 John Part (E)
Andy Hamilton 5-1 Brendan Dolan (F)
Gary Anderson 5-4 Tony O’Shea (E)
Christian Kist 5-4 Raymond van Barneveld (H)
Wes Newton 5-2 Wesley Harms (G) LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Day 4 – Tuesday 13th November 8x Group Stage matches – Groups A-D Jan Dekker 1-5 Arron Monk (D)
Mark Webster 2-5 Co Stompe (A)
Kevin Painter 5-3 James Hubbard (C)
Robert Thornton 5-4 Steve Beaton (B)
James Wade 2-5 Mervyn King (D)
Phil Taylor 2-5 Scott Waites (A)
Simon Whitlock 1-5 Dean Winstanley (C)
Michael van Gerwen 5-0 Ted Hankey (B) LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 5 – Wednesday 14th November 8x Group Stage matches – Groups E-H Adrian Lewis 5-4 Gary Anderson (E)
Brendan Dolan 5-0 Barrie Bates (F)
Wesley Harms 5-2 Martin Phillips (G)
Raymond van Barneveld 5-2 Wayne Jones (H)
John Part 5-4 Tony O’Shea (E)
Andy Hamilton 5-4 Paul Nicholson (F)
Wes Newton 5-2 Terry Jenkins (G)
Christian Kist 4-5 Mark Walsh (H) LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 6 – Thursday 15th November 4x Second Round matches Dean Winstanley 10-5 Arron Monk
Mervyn King 5-10 Kevin Painter
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Phil Taylor
Scott Waites 10-8 Robert Thornton LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 7 – Friday 16th November 4x Second Round matches John Part 10-6 Brendan Dolan
Wes Newton 10-9 Christian Kist
Andy Hamilton 10-9 Gary Anderson
Raymond van Barneveld 10-4 Wesley Harms LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Day 8 – Saturday 17th November Quarter Finals Afternoon Session Dean Winstanley 16-12 Kevin Painter John Part 12-16 Andy Hamilton LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports 3 Evening Session Christian Kist 10-16 Raymond van Barneveld Scott Waites 12-16 Michael van Gerwen LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 3 Day 9 – Sunday 18th November Semi Finals Afternoon Session Andy Hamilton 10-16 Raymond van Barneveld Michael van Gerwen 16-8 Dean Winstanley LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Final Evening Session Michael van Gerwen 14-16 Raymond van Barneveld LIVE: 7.00pm-9.00pm – Sky Sports 1 .