Premier League Darts: Debutant Chris Dobey stuns Michael van Gerwen to win opening night in Belfast
Chris Dobey enjoys a dream Premier League debut by defeating Michael van Gerwen in the Belfast final I The Cardiff International Arena hosts the second of 17 individual venues on Thursday, February 9 with the play-offs returning to The O2 in London on Thursday, May 25
Last Updated: 03/02/23 9:01am
Chris Dobey made a dream Premier League debut as he stunned six-time defending champion Michael van Gerwen to win the opening night of action in Belfast.
Dobey claimed his first major PDC title by winning the Masters in Milton Keynes which helped him gatecrash the cast list for this year's Premier League.
The 32-year-old from Bedlington produced a Hollywood-style ending after defeating two-time former world champion Peter Wright in the quarter-finals and then sending Nathan Aspinall crashing out to reach the final where he upset favourite Van Gerwen.
Premier League - Night 1 in Belfast Results
|Quarter-finals||Dimitri Van den Bergh||6-2||Jonny Clayton|
|Michael Smith||3-6||Michael van Gerwen|
|Peter Wright||3-6||Chris Dobey|
|Nathan Aspinall||6-4||Gerwyn Price|
|Semi-finals||Dimitri Van den Bergh||4-6||Michael van Gerwen|
|Chris Dobey||6-4||Nathan Aspinall|
|Final||Chris Dobey||6-5||Michael van Gerwen|
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A captivating final, which saw Dobey reel in a 170 checkout in the second leg, went all the way to a deciding leg with Dobey landing a sensational 160 checkout to cap a memorable week.
"I'm living the dream," said a delighted Dobey, who twice starred as a Challenger in the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Premier League.
"The 160 checkout had to go because Michael was waiting on 127 and he's well capable of taking that out.
"Michael has got a great record against me, and it gets in your head, but I knew I could do it after beating him on TV for the first time at the European Championship.
"I know what I can do, and right now my confidence is sky high.
"I felt that I deserved my place in the tournament, I didn't have anything to prove to myself but I think I've proved a few people wrong tonight.
"I'm getting a taste of it now and I love it. I want to be here all the time."
Van Gerwen picked up three league points after gaining sweet revenge over Michael Smith in their first meeting since the World Championship final, and Dimitri Van den Bergh to go second on the embryonic table.
Losing semi-finalists Aspinall and Van den Bergh left Belfast with two points each thanks to quarter-final wins over Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton respectively.
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A week in the life of Chris Dobey
Sunday - Crowned Masters Champion
Monday - Announced in the 2023 Premier League
Thursday - Wins in Belfast on full debut
"You've either got it or you haven't in terms of that ability. He's knows he's got the ability so that panic hasn't set it. That Masters win is the catalyst for we don't know, but it's the catalyst for tonight. That was an amazing win. He didn't look nervy on the 160 but he's creating that for himself. I love seeing new winners. Dobey has been a great player for a long time. Good luck to him. He wasn't nervous, which is mind-boggling, but crack on Chris."
Wayne Mardle on Chris Dobey
Where are we heading next?
Night 2 in Cardiff: Thursday, February 9
|Quarter-Finals||Michael Smith vs Jonny Clayton|
|Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright|
|Gerwyn Price vs Chris Dobey|
|Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh|
The Premier League roadshow heads to Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena on Thursday, February 9 for Night Two of the league phase, as Welsh duo Price and Clayton face Dobey and Smith respectively in the quarter-finals.
The night's other quarter-finals will see Aspinall face Wright, while Van Gerwen takes on Van den Bergh.
2023 Premier League Schedule
|Night 2||Cardiff International Arena||February 9|
|Night 3||OVO Hydro, Glasgow||February 16|
|Night 4||3Arena, Dublin||February 23|
|Night 5||Westpoint Exeter||March 2|
|Night 6||The Brighton Centre||March 9|
|Night 7||Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham||March 16|
|Night 8||Utilita Arena, Newcastle||March 23|
|Night 9||Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin||March 30|
|Night 10||Utilita Arena, Birmingham||April 6|
|Night 11||M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool||April 13|
|Night 12||Rotterdam Ahoy||April 20|
|Night 13||First Direct Arena, Leeds||April 27|
|Night 14||AO Arena, Manchester||May 4|
|Night 15||Utilita Arena, Sheffield||May 11|
|Night 16||P&J Live, Aberdeen||May 18|
|Play-Offs||The O2, London||May 25|
We're back for more Premier League Darts action from the Cardiff International Arena on Thursday, February 9 - live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7.30pm.