Taylor to take on Smith

  • Last Updated: October 4 2012, 14:42 BST

Phil Taylor will begin his challenge to win an 11th PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix against youngster Michael Smith in Dublin, live on Sky Sports.

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The £350,000 tournament gets under way on Monday October 8 and the Power is defending champion after defeating Brendan Dolan in last year's final.

The tournament is unique for the double-start format which sees players having to both begin and end each leg with a double and Taylor said: "I love the World Grand Prix because it's a great challenge.

"The double-start format always makes it interesting but it's a title I love winning. The Irish fans create a great atmosphere and when I played Brendan in the final last year it was one of the most special nights I've ever had."

Taylor's first round opponent will be talented St Helens youngster Smith, who is managed by world number number four Gary Anderson.

"Michael's a great young prospect and he's already won a couple of ranking events, which shows his quality," said Taylor. "I've got ten days or so to prepare and I know I'll have to be at the top of my game."

Smith won his second senior ranking title at a Players Championship in Benidorm earlier this year while double world champion Adrian Lewis drew Welshman Richie Burnett in his opener.

Two-time champion James Wade will face Colin Osborne in the first round and recent European Championship winner Simon Whitlock will face in-form Justin Pipe.

Anderson drew Northern Irish ace Dolan, while Fleetwood's Wes Newton takes on Blackpool rival Ronnie Baxter.

Andy Hamilton will play Mark Webster and Terry Jenkins, the number eight seed, drew Mervyn King.

With the tournament featuring just eight seeded players, the draw has thrown up a host of other tasty ties, including 2004 World Grand Prix champion Colin Lloyd up against in-form Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.

Five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld drew in-form Stoke ace Ian White, Dave Chsinall will play debutant Dean Winstanley and Kevin Painter faces another new face, the European Championship semi-finalist Kim Huybrechts.

The first round is split across Monday October 8 and Tuesday October 9, with the second round then played on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Citywest Hotel.

The quarter-finals will be held on the Friday night, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday, which will be preceded by the final of the Tom Kirby Memorial Irish Matchplay final between Daryl Gurney and Campbell Jackson.

PartyPoker.com World Grand Prix draw

Phil Taylor (1) v Michael Smith
Mark Walsh v Robert Thornton
Terry Jenkins (8) v Mervyn King
Dean Winstanley v Dave Chisnall
Simon Whitlock (5) v Justin Pipe
Kevin Painter v Kim Huybrechts
Gary Anderson (4) v Brendan Dolan
Vincent van der Voort v William O'Connor
Adrian Lewis (2) v Richie Burnett
Michael van Gerwen v Colin Lloyd
Andy Hamilton (7) v Mark Webster
Steve Beaton v Andy Smith
Wes Newton (6) v Ronnie Baxter
Raymond van Barneveld v Ian White
James Wade (3) v Colin Osborne
Michael Mansell v Paul Nicholson

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