THE world's best darts players descend on Minehead this weekend for the 2019 Players Championship.

The tournament takes place at Butlin's from November 22-24, beginning tomorrow (Friday) from 12.45pm.

World number one Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to lift the trophy but he is likely to face stiff competition from in-form Gerwyn Price, who defended his Grand Slam of Darts title last weekend.

Northern Irish star Daryl Gurney is the reigning champion having beaten van Gerwen in last year's final in Minehead and will be looking to retain his crown.

There is also local interest in the draw.

Taunton's Justin Pipe, who has beaten Price and Mensur Suljovic this year, is up against veteran Mervyn King in the first round.

Wellington Darts League ace Ryan Searle, from Holcombe Rogus, is also making the short trip to the West Somerset coast.

Searle, who reached the fourth round of last year's World Championship, takes on Dutchman Danny Noppert in his first round tie.

Burnham-on-Sea's Gary Anderson is not taking part this year.

The tournament is being shown live on ITV4 and should provide the usual thrills and spills from a popular venue on the darts circuit.

The full schedule is as follows:

Friday, November 22

Afternoon Session (12.45pm GMT)

First Round

Main Stage

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting

Jose de Sousa v James Richardson

Glen Durrant v Scott Baker

Max Hopp v Jelle Klaasen

Chris Dobey v Cristo Reyes

Jeffrey de Zwaan v Simon Whitlock

Michael Smith v Martin Schindler

Ian White v Devon Petersen

Stage Two

Harry Ward v Darius Labanauskas

Justin Pipe v Mervyn King

Brendan Dolan v Ross Smith

John Henderson v Ryan Joyce

Keegan Brown v Andy Boulton

Steve Beaton v Ricky Evans

Danny Noppert v Ryan Searle

Dave Chisnall v Matthew Edgar

Evening Session (7pm GMT)

First Round

Main Stage

Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon

Gerwyn Price v Mickey Mansell

James Wade v Ted Evetts

Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts

Daryl Gurney v Luke Woodhouse

Michael van Gerwen v Luke Humphries

Peter Wright v James Wilson

Nathan Aspinall v Raymond van Barneveld

Stage Two

Jonny Clayton v Ryan Meikle

Joe Cullen v Kyle Anderson

Vincent van der Voort v Arron Monk

Gabriel Clemens v Mark McGeeney

Adrian Lewis v Josh Payne

William O'Connor v Steve West

Jermaine Wattimena v Jamie Hughes

Ron Meulenkamp v Rob Cross

Saturday November 23

Afternoon Session (12.45pm GMT)

Second Round

Main Stage

Price/Mansell v Brown/Boulton

Wade/Evetts v Beaton/Evans

Suljovic/Huybrechts v Noppert/Searle

Gurney/Woodhouse v Clemens/McGeeney

Lewis/Payne v Van Gerwen/Humphries

Wright/Wilson v Dobey/Reyes

Aspinall/Van Barneveld v Cullen/Anderson

Wattimena/Hughes v Meulenkamp/Cross

Stage Two

De Zwaan/Whitlock v Henderson/Joyce

Clayton/Meikle v Ward/Labanauskas

De Sousa/Richardson v Van den Bergh/Bunting

White/Petersen v Van der Voort/Monk

Ratajski/Lennon v O'Connor/West

Durrant/Baker v Hopp/Klaasen

Chisnall/Edgar v Pipe/King

M Smith/Schindler v Dolan/R Smith

Evening Session (7pm GMT)

Third Round

Main Stage & Stage Two (four matches per stage)

Schedule of play TBC

Sunday November 24

Main Stage Only

Afternoon Session (12.45pm GMT)


Evening Session (7pm GMT)

Semi-Finals & Final

Plus PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship Final