The 2024 Superbet Poland Darts Masters begins on Friday evening, as Gliwice plays host to the second staging of the World Series of Darts event.
Following events in Bahrain, Den Bosch, New York and Copenhagen, the World Series of Darts continues this weekend, as a star-studded 16-player field compete on Polish soil.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen and top seed Luke Littler return to action following their absence in Copenhagen, as they take on Czech duo Karel Sedlacek and Adam Gawlas respectively.
Van Gerwen produced 110, 104 and 113 averages in storming to victory in last year’s inaugural staging in Warsaw, and the Dutchman is eyeing a repeat performance as he aims to reignite his season.
The three-time World Champion hasn’t lifted a PDC title since his Dutch Darts Masters triumph back in January, and he faces a tough test against the dangerous Sedlacek in Friday’s first round.
“Of course I’m going to win, or I’d have stayed at home,” declared a bullish Van Gerwen, who dispatched Dimitri Van den Bergh in last year’s final.
“I really enjoyed playing in Poland last year and I had a good result, so why can’t I do the same this year?
“Every tournament I compete in I want to win, and I need to make sure I’m focusing now, because I’ve got a tough first round game against Karel [Sedlacek].
“The East Europe players are improving every time. I think it’s a really strong line-up here and I’m really looking forward to playing.”
Friday’s first round will see the eight PDC superstars locking horns with their eight East Europe rivals, as Littler takes on former World Youth Championship runner-up Gawlas.
The Czech star defeated the 17-year-old on his way to reaching the UK Open semi-finals in 2023, although the Premier League champion represents a very different proposition ahead of their latest meeting.
“It’s going to be another good experience for me; a different crowd, a different stage,” admitted Littler, who is bidding to build on his Premier League heroics in Poland.
“I’m looking forward to it. I love playing in front of big crowds, so hopefully I can put on a show for them and get the win.
“It was going to be tough no matter who I played. I think it’s a really strong field of players, and I know what Adam is capable of.
“The Premier League win was massive for me. I’ve got that under my belt now, but all my focus is on this weekend in Poland.”
World Champion Luke Humphries will also headline this weekend’s action at the PreZero Arena, as he opens his title challenge against Hungarian debutant Gyorgy Jehirszki.
Humphries is still searching for his maiden World Series title after suffering back-to-back semi-final defeats to Rob Cross in New York and Copenhagen, although he’s relishing his latest visit to Poland.
“I don’t know much about Gyorgy but he’s in this tournament for a reason, so I won’t take him lightly,” vowed the world number one.
“This is a great tournament to be involved in and I’m really happy to be here. Last year was a great success and I’m sure this year will be a great success too.
“The fans were absolutely amazing in Warsaw and it’s a bigger arena this year, so I’m expecting the atmosphere to be even better.
“I’m just hoping I can produce my A-game this weekend. There’s a lot more expectation on my shoulders compared to last year, but I’m embracing that feeling of being World Champion now.”
Elsewhere, Masters champion Stephen Bunting will play Krzysztof Ratajski in a blockbuster first round showdown, as Poland’s premier player makes his return to home soil.
US Darts Masters champion Rob Cross – a runner-up in Copenhagen – takes on young prospect Sebastian Bialecki, while world number three Michael Smith also faces a home favourite in Radek Szaganski.
World Matchplay champion Nathan Aspinall meets Croatia’s number one Boris Krcmar for a place in the quarter-finals, in a repeat of their opening round clash 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, Peter Wright goes up against televised debutant Jacek Krupka in his opener, as the two-time World Champion bids to return to winning ways following an early exit in Copenhagen last Friday.
Following Friday’s first round, the event will conclude with a bumper evening session on Saturday, as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final are held in front of a sell-out crowd in Gliwice.
The Superbet Poland Darts Masters will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV (excluding Germany, Austria & Switzerland based subscribers).
2024 Superbet Poland Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
(1) Luke Littler v Adam Gawlas
Peter Wright v Jacek Krupka
(4) Luke Humphries v György Jehirszki
Michael Smith v Radek Szaganski
(2) Rob Cross v Sebastian Bialecki
Stephen Bunting v Krzysztof Ratajski
(3) Michael van Gerwen v Karel Sedlacek
Nathan Aspinall v Boris Krcmar
Schedule of Play
Friday June 14 (1900 local time)
First Round x8
Rob Cross v Sebastian Bialecki
Nathan Aspinall v Boris Krcmar
Michael Smith v Radek Szaganski
Peter Wright v Jacek Krupka
Michael van Gerwen v Karel Sedlacek
Luke Littler v Adam Gawlas
Stephen Bunting v Krzysztof Ratajski
Luke Humphries v György Jehirszki
Best of 11 legs
Saturday June 15 (1900 local time)
Best of 11 legs
Best of 13 legs
Best of 15 legs

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