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Smith starts his defence of darts trophy on Saturday

MICHAEL SMITH will begin his defence of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy on Saturday against either Jermaine Wattimena or a Host Nation Qualifier.

Unibet Premier League runner-up Smith claimed his fourth European Tour title at last year’s event, defeating Mensur Suljovic 6-4 in the final.

Smith has picked up two ProTour titles so far in 2018 as well as reaching the final of the German Darts Open in April, and begins his bid for a first European Tour title of the year on Saturday night at the second round stage.

Recent European Tour winner Max Hopp and former William Hill World Championship finalist Mark Dudbridge will clash in one of 16 first round ties on Friday at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar.

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World number one Michael van Gerwen will begin his quest for a fifth European Tour title of the year against either Barrie Bates or Vincent van der Voort, while last year’s runner-up Suljovic will face either Adrian Lewis or a Host Nation Qualifier.

Ross Smith landed the European Tour’s last nine-dart finish at the 2013 event, where Welshman Jamie Lewis was runner-up to Phil Taylor, and the pair will clash on Friday for the right to face 2014 champion James Wade in round two.

Dutch Darts Masters runner-up Steve Lennon will play Chris Dobey in another round one tie in the sixth staging of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy.

The field will be finalised on Thursday night, with four places available in the Host Nation Qualifier as the Gibraltarian players bid to progress to ties against Lewis, Paul Nicholson, Hannes Schnier and Wattimena.

The Gibraltar Darts Trophy will be broadcast throughout the weekend for PDCTV-HD Subscribers, and through a series of bookmakers’ websites worldwide.

2018 Gibraltar Darts Trophy

Draw Bracket

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Barrie Bates/Vincent van der Voort

Stephen Bunting (16) v Andy Boulton/Ritchie Edhouse

Jonny Clayton (8) v Hannes Schnier/HNQ3

Ian White (9) v Mark Dudbridge/Max Hopp

Daryl Gurney (5) v Brendan Dolan/James Wilson

Darren Webster (12) v Toni Alcinas/Steve West

Rob Cross (4) v Robert Thornton/Cristo Reyes

Simon Whitlock (13) v Adam Huckvale/Richie Burnett

Michael Smith (2) v Jermaine Wattimena/HNQ4

Gerwyn Price (15) v Matt Padgett/Mike De Decker

Joe Cullen (7) v Jeffrey de Graaf/Darius Labanauskas

Dave Chisnall (10) v Paul Nicholson/HNQ1

Mensur Suljovic (6) v Adrian Lewis/HNQ2

James Wade (11) v Jamie Lewis/Ross Smith

Peter Wright (3) Krzysztof Ratajski/Michael Barnard

Mervyn King (14) v Chris Dobey/Steve Lennon

Schedule of Play

Friday June 8

First Round

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)

Krzysztof Ratajski v Michael Barnard

Jeffrey de Graaf v Darius Labanauskas

Brendan Dolan v James Wilson

Matt Padgett v Mike De Decker

Andy Boulton v Ritchie Edhouse

Hannes Schnier v Host Nation Qualifier Three

Toni Alcinas v Steve West

Jamie Lewis v Ross Smith

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Adam Huckvale v Richie Burnett

Robert Thornton v Cristo Reyes

Barrie Bates v Vincent van der Voort

Paul Nicholson v Host Nation Qualifier One

Mark Dudbridge v Max Hopp

Jermaine Wattimena v Host Nation Qualifier Four

Chris Dobey v Steve Lennon

Adrian Lewis v Host Nation Qualifier Two

Saturday June 9

Second Round

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)

Stephen Bunting v Andy Boulton/Ritchie Edhouse

Gerwyn Price v Matt Padgett/Mike De Decker

Darren Webster v Toni Alcinas/Steve West

James Wade v Jamie Lewis/Ross Smith

Simon Whitlock v Adam Huckvale/Ritchie Burnett

Jonny Clayton v Hannes Schnier/HNQ3

Ian White v Mark Dudbridge/Max Hopp

Daryl Gurney v Brendan Dolan/James Wilson

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Joe Cullen v Jeffrey de Graaf/Darius Labanauskas

Michael Smith v Jermaine Wattimena/HNQ4

Rob Cross v Robert Thornton/Cristo Reyes

Michael van Gerwen v Barrie Bates/Vincent van der Voort

Dave Chisnall v Paul Nicholson/HNQ1

Mensur Suljovic v Adrian Lewis/HNQ2

Mervyn King v Chris Dobey/Steve Lennon

Peter Wright v Krzysztof Ratajski/Michael Barnard

Sunday June 10

Afternoon Session (1pm local time, 12pm BST)

Third Round

Evening Session (7.15pm local time, 6.15pm BST)

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Final

Sunday’s games played in Draw Bracket order

Format – All games up to and including the quarter-finals are the best of 11 legs, with the semi-finals the best of 13 legs and the final the best of 15 legs.

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