Gary Anderson will begin the defence of his World Championship title against either Per Laursen or a PDPA qualifier, after the draw for the 2016 PDC World Championships was made on Sky Sports news on Monday morning.
World Number One Michael van Gerwen has been handed a kind draw, as he will meet the winner of the preliminary round clash between Thanawat Gaweenuntawong and Rene Eidams in the last 64.
Phil Taylor will begin his pursuit for a 17th World title against another preliminary qualifier. The 55-year-old will play either Keita Ono or Alex Tagarao in Round One.
Arguably the tie of the opening round sees World Number 4 Peter Wright take on former World-Youth Champion Keegan Brown. Brown has recorded a number of major scalps on the TV stage, so Snakebite will be in for a difficult tie.
World Grand-Prix Champion Robert Thornton will take on former Lakeside finalist Alan Norris. Norris, who reached the last 16 stage of the Players Championship Finals, will be making his debut at Alexandra Palace this year.
5-Time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld will take on compatriot Dirk van Duijvenbode in the last 64, whilst fellow Dutchman Jelle Klaasen faces a tough examination against the dangerous Joe Cullen.
Two-Time World Champion Adrian Lewis, who reached the final of the Players Championship Finals yesterday, will take on two-time Lakeside semi-finalist Jan Dekker. Dekker failed to secure a tour card at Q-School earlier in the year, but still represents a serious threat to Jackpot.
8-time major winner James Wade will take on either Warrick Scheffer or John Michael, as the Machine vies for his elusive World Championship title.
Kim Huybrechts will take on Dave Pallett in another eye-catching tie, whilst two-time major finalist Dave Chisnall takes on exciting Austrian Rowby-John Rodriguez.
World Number 8 Michael Smith will play Jeffrey De Zwaan in an enthralling first-round clash. De Zwaan, mentored by Raymond van Barneveld, is a superb talent and could cause ‘Bully-Boy’ some problems.
World Number 9 Ian White will also face a very talented youngster in the opening round. White was drawn against Belgian star Dimitri van den Bergh, who made his TV appearance at the World Series of Darts Finals a fortnight ago. He may be raw, but he is undoubtedly capable.
There are a number of tasty encounters between upcoming youngsters. Jamie Lewis will take on Daryl Gurney, who reached the semi-finals of the Players Championship finals yesterday.
Benito van de Pas, who produced an astonishing performance in thrashing James Wade 10-3 in the last 16 of the Players Championship finals, takes on newly-crowned World-Youth Champion Max Hopp.
Former Lakeside Champion Stephen Bunting takes on German star Jyhan Artut in the opening round, whilst a rejuvenated Mark Webster will face either Qiang Sun or Mick McGowan.
9-time major finalist Terry Jenkins continues his bid for a maiden PDC major title against imposing American Darin Young. If Jenkins prevails, he may face Webster in the second-round.
Mervyn King could potentially face veteran Paul Lim in the last 64, if the Singapore star can overcome Russia’s Aleksandr Oreshkin in the preliminary round.
Simon Whitlock, who returned to the World’s Top 10 after reaching the quarter-finals of the Players Championship Finals, is yet to know his fate. The Australian, who reached the 2010 World Championship final, will play one of the winner’s from today’s PDPA qualifier.
Brendan Dolan was dealt a nightmare draw against the ever-improving Kyle Anderson, whilst Justin Pipe, seeded 20th for the event, will play 2012 Lakeside Champion Christian Kist for a place in the second round.
UK Open semi-finalist Andrew Gilding will take on Welshman Gerwyn Price, who was agonisingly close to breaking into the Top 32 this weekend.
2012 World-Championship finalist Andy Hamilton, who has slipped down to 27th in the World this year, takes on Joe Murnan, whilst former World Champion Steve Beaton will meet Koha Kokiri.
With John Part and possibly Ronnie Baxter absent from this year’s event, Beaton will only be behind Phil Taylor in terms of number of consecutive World Championship appearances.
Wes Newton was pitted against Cristo Reyes in the opening round, for the second year in succession. Newton suffered a shock defeat to the Spaniard last year, and Reyes will be confident of replicating last year’s triumph in three weeks time.
Dean Winstanley, a former Lakeside finalist, will take on Ronny Huybrechts for a second-round berth. Winstanley has struggled for form in recent months and will have to produce the goods against a tenacious performer such as Ronny.
2004 World finalist Kevin Painter will face the winner of the preliminary tie between Finland’s Kim Viljanen and Dutchman Sven Groen. Victory for Painter will result in a likely second-round tie against Phil Taylor, the man who defeated him at the Circus Tavern 11 years ago.
15th seed Vincent van der Voort will take on Australia’s Loz Ryder, who caused an upset by beating Justin Pipe in the first-round of last year’s competition.
Mensur Suljovic, who is on the verge of breaking into the World’s Top 20 following his run to the semi-finals in Minehead last weekend, will clash with quick-fire Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena, in what could be a juxtaposition in styles.
Jamie Caven will play one of Michael Rasztovits or Rob Szabo for a second-round spot, whilst 32nd seed John Henderson will take on Darren Webster, with the winner likely to face Michael van Gerwen in the second round.
William Hill World Darts Championship
First Round Draw & Tournament Bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Thanawat Gaweenuntawong/Rene Eidams
John Henderson (32) v Darren Webster
Raymond van Barneveld (16) v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Stephen Bunting (17) v Jyhan Artut
Michael Smith (8) v Jeffrey De Zwaan
Steve Beaton (25) v Koha Kokiri
Ian White (9) v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Benito van de Pas (24) v Max Hopp
Adrian Lewis (5) v Jan Dekker
Andrew Gilding (28) v Gerwyn Price
Kim Huybrechts (12) v David Pallett
Mensur Suljovic (21) v Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright (4) v Keegan Brown
Dean Winstanley (29) v Ronny Huybrechts
Dave Chisnall (13) v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Justin Pipe (20) v Christian Kist
Gary Anderson (2) v PDPA Qualifier Runner-Up/Per Laursen
Jamie Lewis (31) v Daryl Gurney
Vincent van der Voort (15) v Loz Ryder
Brendan Dolan (18) v Kyle Anderson
James Wade (7) v Warrick Scheffer/John Michael
Wes Newton (26) v Cristo Reyes
Simon Whitlock (10) v PDPA Qualifier Winner
Jamie Caven (23) v Michael Rasztovits/John Michael
Robert Thornton (6) v Alan Norris
Andy Hamilton (27) v Joe Murnan
Terry Jenkins (11) v Darin Young
Mark Webster (22) v Qiang Sun/Mick McGowan
Phil Taylor (3) v Keita Ono/Alex Taragao
Kevin Painter (30) v Kim Viljanen/Sven Groen
Mervyn King (14) v Aleksander Oreshkin/Paul Lim
Jelle Klaasen (19) v Joe Cullen