World Matchplay permutations explained ahead of the Czech Darts Open
All the variables for World Matchplay qualification can get seriously confusing. Luckily, Burton DeWitt is around to spell it out for us.
The Weekly Dartscast co-host and stats ace has run the numbers ahead of the Czech Darts Open. The European Tour event takes on special significance, because it's the final event before the World Matchplay cut-off. We know 29 of the 32 who will head to Blackpool - three spots are yet to be decided.
DeWitt's run-down shows what each of the contenders needs to do in order to claim a place.
Vincent van der Voort
The Dutch Destroyer is in pole position to claim a spot. At 29th in the Pro Tour qualifying list, and with £35,000 in ranking money to his name, he looks a guarantee to play at the World Matchplay for the first time since 2016.
However, there's one scenario that would rule him out. If Keegan Brown reaches the quarter-finals, one of William O'Connor, Steve West or Ron Meulenkamp reaches the final, and any of the nine players currently outside of the Matchplay qualifying places wins the title, he'd drop out.
Van der Voort won't be in Prague, so can't affect proceedings. However, all three of the above happening would be nothing short of miraculous.
Wilson is in exactly the same boat as van der Voort. Despite not being part of the latest European Tour event, the Huddersfield thrower has most likely already done enough to make it to the World Matchplay.
Again, he'd only drop out if Keegan Brown wins two games, and the likes of O'Connor, Meulenkamp, West et al win a minimum of four. The only difference is that if the former two happen, we wouldn't need to see a Rob Thornton title win to send Wilson crashing out. Though, of course, we'd like to see the Thorn prevail anyway.
Having been in the Pro Tour top 32 for a long time, it's a real surprise that Anderson is now on the cusp of losing his Blackpool berth. After a slide down the table, he is a mere £250 ahead of Brown (with the £1,000 Brown picks up for reaching the Czech Darts Open first round already factored in).
That means that if the Isle of Wight ace wins just one match, Anderson is doomed. Should Brown lose, the Aussie will still bow out if O'Connor makes the quarter-finals, Meulenkamp reaches the semi-finals, West is a finalist, or if one of a plethora of others wins the tournament.
And so we come to Brown, the only one of the four headliners who is at the Czech Darts Open. His participation means that his fate is in his own hands.
He knows that one victory should seal his World Matchplay spot. However, an exit at the second or third round wouldn't be enough if O'Connor forges his way through to the last four. Similarly, Meulenkamp or West could trump him by making the final.
Ten players can technically sneak into the qualifying spots. They are: William O'Connor, Ron Meulenkamp, Steve West, Jamie Hughes, Ted Evetts, Robert Thornton, Brendan Dolan, Justin Pipe, Rowby-John Rodriguez and Madars Razma.
As we've mentioned, O'Connor could do enough by getting to the quarter-finals. In the form he's in, there's a decent chance of it. Meulenkamp and West would have to make the semi-finals at least; and this is all while hoping other results go their way.
The equation is much simpler for the others. They only have a shot at the World Matchplay if they win the Czech Darts Open. Anything less won't be enough.