Home » This is what you need to know about the Blaklader Belgian Darts Open in Wieze: almost 18,000 fans, many world top players and a nice prize pool

This is what you need to know about the Blaklader Belgian Darts Open in Wieze: almost 18,000 fans, many world top players and a nice prize pool

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This year’s Blaklader Belgian Darts Open is the first round of the European Tour, a series of tournaments that take place outside the United Kingdom (thirteen in total) after which the best 32 darts players qualify for the European Championship. Last year the second edition took place in Wieze, with a lot of interest again and therefore a full three days in the Oktoberhallen. Then the victory went to Michael van Gerwen. The Dutchman defeated Luke Humphries after a thriller.

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Due to a rule change, only one Belgian was immediately certain of qualification: Dimitri Van den Bergh. Another one was added through the tough qualifications: Mike De Decker. Four non-professionals can still qualify for a so-called ‘Host Nation Qualifier’ on Thursday. Furthermore, almost the entire world‘s top is present in the Oktoberhalle, including phenomenon Luke Littler. Good for a field of 48 people.

The sixteen seeds are free in the first round and will not play until Saturday. The 32 others will kick off the Belgian darts festival on Friday. For example, both Mike De Decker and Dimitri Van den Bergh will be in action on the opening day in the evening session (7 p.m.-11 p.m.). ‘The Real Deal’ will face Dutchman Chris Landman in the first round and would face former world champion Michael Smith, whom he is keen to play, in the next round on Saturday evening (7pm-11pm). ‘The Dreammaker’ has had a tough match: first he will face the British Stephen Bunting and if he wins he will also face Josh Rock, another Brit, in the Saturday evening session.

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Plan

FRIDAY

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: first round

Berry van Peer v Daniel Klose

Ryan Joyce v Andrew Gilding

Lukas Wenig v Host Nation Qualifier 2

Daryl Gurney v Jermaine Wattimena

Luke Woodhouse v James Hurrell

Brendan Dolan v Host Nation Qualifier 4

Chris Dobey in Romeo Hunchback

Andreas Harrysson v Gian van Veen

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM: first round

Mike De Decker v Chris Landman

Martin Schindler v Joe Cullen

Host Nation Qualifier 3 v Gabriel Clemens

Luke Littler in Jose de Sousa

Peter Wright v Host Nation Qualifier 1

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting

Nathan Aspinall v Richard Veenstra

SATURDAY

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: second round

Ricardo Pietreczko – Woodhouse/Hurrell

Ross Smith – Gurney/Wattimena

Jonny Clayton – Van Peer/Klose

Damon Many – Dolan/HNQ4

Ryan Searle – Aspinall/Veenstra

Danny Noppert – Dobey/Grbavac

Gary Anderson – Harrysson/Van Veen

Dirk van Duijvenbode – Schindler/Cullen

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM: second round

Dave Chisnall – Joyce/Gilding

Michael Smith – De Decker/Landman

Gerwyn Price – HNQ3/Clemens

Michael van Gerwen – Wright/HNQ1

Krzysztof Ratajski – Littler/De Sousa

Luke Humphries – Wade/Van Barneveld

Josh Rock – Van den Bergh/Bunting

Rob Cross – Little/HNQ2

SUNDAY

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: third round

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM: quarter-finals, semi-finals, final

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Up to and including the quarter-finals, a ‘best of 11’ will be played. Whoever wins six legs first wins the match. In the semi-finals it is seven winning legs, in the final eight winning legs.

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Prize money

Winner: 30,000 pounds (35,000 euros)

Finale: 12.000 pond (14.000 euro)

Halve finale: 8.500 pond (9.900 euro)

Quarter-final: 6,000 pounds (7,000 euros)

Third round: 4,000 pounds (4.70 euros)

Second round: 2,500 pounds (2,900 euros)

First round: 1,250 pounds (1,500 euros)

Total: 175,000 pounds (205,000 euros)

Nearly 18,000 fans

“It is definitely something to look forward to again,” said Alexander Algoet, Senior Project Manager at organizer Golazo Sports. “This is now the third year for us, but for the first time we are the first tournament of the European Tour. And the changed rules allow us to offer an even wider range of world-class players. That has been the case in recent years, but now it is the top of the top with the top sixteen in the world and the Pro Tour. It is a very nice field of participants. We also fervently hoped for a first-time Gerwyn Price and he is there. That’s a huge personality.”

They now know the tricks of the trade in Wieze. “On the one hand, we are now doing this on autopilot,” he said. “But as an organization you also have to be careful about that. However, the collaborations are going well and the relationship with the PDC and the Oktoberhalle is excellent. Everyone now knows what he or she has to do. They see that too and that is why we have two darts tournaments this year, with Antwerp in September. There won’t be many novelties in Wieze. We are also limited in terms of space here, which is different in Antwerp.”

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It is estimated that another 17,000 to 18,000 darts fans will pass through this weekend, with six sessions of 3,000 spectators. “Ticket sales went really well again,” says Algoet. “That sometimes caused some frustration among people because they could not get a ticket. That’s why we went for a second tournament. When the tickets were launched last year, approximately 85 percent of all tickets were gone after two days. Afterwards we released more, with the result that we can speak of a virtual sell-out. Only the afternoon session on Friday is not (yet) completely full, but we already know that.”

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