One of the more intriguing events on the PDC tour begins on July 14th, with the very first staging of the US Masters in Las Vegas. A huge prize fund is likely to entice a number of top players to the event with the preceding qualifying rounds allowing some of the top US and Canadian players the chance to take on the big boys.
An already packed PDC schedule boasts a new tournament this summer as the players head stateside to compete at the Tropicana Las Vegas on the world-famous strip. A huge prize pot awaits the winner of the maiden tournament with first round losers taking home an enticing $1,500 each. This glamorous location is a favourite of a number of top darts players and eight of them will be competing for the honours.
Two up and coming players in Daryl Gurney and Max Hopp will be making their debut on the World Series Stage in this event, competing alongside a whole host of familiar faces. In his final year of competitive darts, Phil Taylor is confirmed for the tournament, alongside Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Dutch duo Raymond Van Barneveld and Michael Van Gerwen. The latter pair are fresh from their success in the World Cup of Darts at the beginning of June.
Van Gerwen will head to the states as likely favourite for the tournament and leads the way according to the latest darts odds at 8/15 for the end-of-season PDC World Championship. The man nicknamed Mighty Mike has enjoyed a fruitful campaign so far, wrapping up the Premier League of Darts by seeing off Peter Wright in the final. MVG will then be aiming to defend his title in Blackpool at the World Matchplay event on July 22nd.
Debutante Daryl Gurney is looking forward to the tournament with the Irishman successfully wrapping up his first Pro Tour Title in Barnsley earlier this year.
A number of qualifiers are scheduled for the days prior to the tournament. North American players will get the chance to progress and potentially book their place in the US Masters tournament. The possibility of facing Phil Taylor, MVG or Peter Wright on the biggest stage of all awaits. Each of the four heats will offer one player the chance to progress into the two subsequent tournaments. It could be a lucrative few days for a number of amateur competitors.
Those qualifiers take place on the 11th and 12th of July, with the high profile North American Championship getting underway just 24 hours later. The winner of that tournament will take home a $10,00 prize plus the opportunity to compete in the World Darts Championship at the end of the season: a huge incentive for all players.
One competitor from each of the qualifiers will book their place at the US Masters, so there could be a number of new names on show in Las Vegas. It's set to be a fascinating four days at the Tropicana with the tournament aiming to become a regular fixture on the PDC Tour. The action gets underway on the 11th July with the big boys taking to the oche just three days later.