Premier League Players Dominating…..Not Always

Last weekend saw the first three PDC ranking tournaments of the season take place with three UK Open qualifying events played over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The tournaments were won by Adrian Lewis, Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor; they were the three highest ranked players across the three tournaments and are of course competitors in the Premier League (the 2016 Premier League started on the Thursday before the UK Open qualifiers).

For those who might not be aware the Premier League contains 10 of the best players from the PDC circuit and runs from early February through to mid/late May with matches played every Thursday evening.

Throughout the timespan when the Premier League season takes place there are weekends where PDC Pro Tour events are being played (such as last weekend with the UK Open qualifiers and this weekend with the first European Tour event of the season). The Pro Tour events consist of UK Open qualifiers, Players Championship tournaments and European Tour tournaments.

I decided to analyse the Pro Tour events from 2013 to the present day to see how many tournaments in the weekends following Premier League nights were won by a Premier League competitor compared to players who weren’t participating in the Premier League, and the findings are very interesting.

(Note: This data is only Pro Tour tournaments and doesn’t include TV major ranking tournaments.)

From 2013 to the present day there have been 53 PDC Pro Tour tournaments on a weekend following Premier League nights – 43 (81%) of these have been won by players competing in the Premier League (during the same season).  Just 10 (19%) have been won by non-Premier League players.

Of course the majority of the tournaments have been won by the Premier League players you may be thinking, they are arguably the best 10 players right? Yes that is true but the next piece of data is worth looking at.

Over the same time span, from 2013 onwards there have been 51 PDC Pro Tour tournaments on weekends where there were no Premier League nights immediately prior to that weekend – 22 (43%) of the tournaments have been won by players competing in the Premier League (during the same season), whilst 29 (57%) have been won by non-Premier League players.

PDC Pro Tour Winners 2013 to Present

If you take the same method for European Tour events only, the results are quite similar.

Since 2013 there have been 8 Euro Tour events on the back of a Premier League week and 7 (88%) of these have been won by Premier League players with just 1 (12%) won by a non-Premier League player.

In 17 Euro Tour events played over this period where there were no Premier League nights prior to the tournaments 7 (41%) were won by Premier League players with 10 (59%) being won by non-Premier League players.

What are the reasons for these findings? Does the Premier League give players a competitive edge during its duration? Do some players peak around the Premier League only to fade afterwards? Is the lure of a Premier League place for the following season giving non-Premier League players something to aim for? There are many theories you could come up with. Whatever the reasons, I found the information interesting and thought I would share it with you fellow darts fans.

Will we see a non-Premier League player winning this weekend’s Dutch Darts Masters?

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