The Circus Tavern in Purfleet
The World Masters is to be held at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet for the next three years, the BDO has announced.
The venue is synonymous with the sport after being the home of the PDC World Championship from 1994-2007, hosting some of the greatest matches of all time, including the epic Semi-Final between Phil Taylor and Eric Bristow in 1997 and the sudden death World final between Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld a decade later.
The PDC World Championship moved to Alexandra Palace in 2008, and the Circus Tavern has continued to host high-profile darts exhibitions in the subsequent years.
Now, the BDO has announced it will stage one of its blue riband events at the famous venue for the first time as the wind of change continues to blow through the organisation.
In addition, the tournament has been rebranded the One80 L-style World Masters after Winmau recently ended their 45-year association with the BDO.
The World Masters falls under the BDO’s three-year broadcast deal with Eurosport, with the televised finals taking place from October 25-27.
The qualifying rounds will be held at the Gray’s Civic Hall, with 32 men and eight women progressing to the finals of the respective competitions.
All players, including seeds, will start out from the floor stages as opposed to previously being seeded automatically into the live finals.
Adam Smith-Neale is the defending men’s champion after defeating Glen Durrant in last year’s final, while Lisa Ashton took the ladies crown with victory over Casey Gallagher.
Last year’s men’s event featured a total prize fund of £60,000, with £10,500 available in the ladies event, though the 2019 prize funds are yet to be confirmed.
All qualified players in the men’s and ladies World Masters will also be required to pay £20 in entry fees.