The nine-day darting feast opens up with bad boy Paul Nicholson taking on Andy 'The Pie Man' Smith.
Nicholson heads into the Matchplay on the back of a poor spell of form as he looks to retain his place within the world's elite top 16 and perhaps challenge for the title this week.
The Asset's slump in form has largely been down to a shoulder injury, but Nicholson now feels more comfortable in throwing and starts out as favourite for this one.
Smith will be hoping the match goes the distance as he looks to exploit his opponent's problems; the happiest character in darts has never won a game on the Winter Gardens stage in the six years he has appeared in the event, but will feel he has a better chance than ever of doing so this year.
Arguably the most evenly matched tie of the round follows as two-time finalist Terry Jenkins faces debutant Kim Huybrechts in a game that could go all the way.
Many neutral viewers may be unaware as to which of the pair is the seeded outfit, but world number 10 Jenkins knows he faces a real battle against the world number 36 - Belgium's greatest ever darting export.
Both are clinical and composed all-round players and are certain to provide a thriller when they collide in the heat of the Blackpool stage.
World Champion Adrian Lewis opens up against recent UK Open champion Robert Thornton in another mouth-watering first round clash.
The weight of expectation stands firmly on Jackpot's shoulders after a sub-standard 2012 so far following his second world title win in early January, and he could come unstuck against the resurgent Scot should he fail to make a good start.
Thornton demolished Phil Taylor to win his first ever major title last month and will be full of confidence coming into this prestigious event.
Lewis is capable of turning on the style at any time and is made favourite to progress courtesy of the long format which allows him to settle into the game should he fall behind early on.
Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld looks to set up a showdown with either Terry Jenkins or Kim Huybrechts in the last 16 as he takes on young sensation Michael Smith.
Barney has produced some of his best darts at this event over the years, including a magical nine darter en route to the final in 2010; he comes into this year's competition in a rich vein of form having picked up the European Open title earlier this month, beating many big names along the way.
The popular Dutchman could prove too hot to handle for the 22-year-old from St Helens, but the player known as 'Bully' will not be taken lightly by Barneveld as he is an established force on the ProTour circuit.
Under the guidance of mentor Gary Anderson, confident youngster Smith has already won a ProTour title in 2012 as well as hitting a nine darter in a Youth Tour event.
The action gets underway at 7.00pm BST and all matches will be streamed live over the best of 19 legs from the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.
Listen to our audio preview of day one, featuring exclusive interview clips with Paul Nicholson and Raymond van Barneveld