A breakdown of all the big names taking part at the Auckland Darts Masters this weekend.

Gary Anderson (seeded 1)
Age: 46
Represents: Scotland
Nickname: The Flying Scotsman
Darts: 23g Unicorn.
World Ranking: 2
Known for... winning the world titles in 2015 and 2016. The brilliant Anderson has battled sight issues, and rates himself amongst the game's worst board number crunchers. The former builder is also a teetotaller who celebrates his success with a cup of coffee. He was a snooker-obsessed kid, who has made a century break. Anderson is the current Auckland champion.
Famous quote (on Phil Taylor): "It's always an honour to be on the stage with that man. He's one of my biggest heroes and to get one over on him is even better."

Peter Wright (2)
Age: 47
Represents: Scotland
Nickname: Snakebite
Darts: 20g Red Dragon
World ranking: 3
Known for... a flamboyant stage persona, spiked hair, whacky costumes etc. Notorious for being unable to win titles, Wright has had a breakthrough year, winning the UK Open and some European events. Wright's hairdresser wife Jo spends hours making his hair-dos each competition day and airbrushing the trademark SnakeBite on the side of his head. Jo told the Herald she uses this time to build up his fragile confidence.
Famous quote, on his stage persona: "At the beginning a lot of people were like: 'Oh, look at that idiot, that clown. But I just wanted to be different. It wasn't a plan." (Telegraph)

Raymond van Barneveld (3)
Age: 50
Represents: Holland
Nickname: Barney
Darts: 25g Target
World ranking: 8
Known for...a beautiful throwing action but inconsistent performances. The Dutch veteran, a five-time world champ, suffers diabetes which saps his energy, affects his concentration and lowers his morale. At times he has barely been able to pull the darts out of the board, and "Barney" struggled to change his diet and lifestyle when initially diagnosed.
Famous quote: "I don't even look ahead to see who I'm playing anymore. I am more worried about battling diabetes. If I can win that battle I will win darts matches, simple as that."


James Wade (4)
Age: 34
Represents: England
Nickname: The Machine
Darts: 20g Unicorn
World ranking: 10
Known for... going public about his battles with depression, mental disorders, drinking too much and obsessive behaviour particularly around collecting things like military medals. Had a series of nicknames early in his care, and even announcing he had no nickname, until the former mechanic settled on 'The Machine'. Wade has made three world championship semifinals.
Famous quote: "Sometimes my attitude towards the game's probably not correct. I keep saying I'm going to commit myself a bit more. But sometimes you don't want to be at work, and it's hard to fake." (Telegraph)

Phil Taylor
Age: 56
Represents: England
Nickname: The Power
Darts: 26g Target
World ranking: 4
Known for... being the greatest player ever, including 16 world title wins. Totally dominated in his prime, with staggering title haul. In a divorce settlement three years ago his yearly earnings were still put at $1.8m, and he was won more than $12m in prizemoney. Taylor is not the force he once was but still competes well and has just won a 16th world matchplay title, beating Wright in the final. Heading towards retirement early next year.
Famous quote (on retirement): "I'm done. I've had enough of all the preparation. I've done 30 years of it. It's enough for me now...let the youngsters take over now."

Michael Smith
Age: 26
Represents: England
Nickname: Bully Boy
Darts: 22g Unicorn
World ranking: 9
Known for... hitting rock bottom last year, when struggles with his game led to him saying "I was all for killing myself". The former world junior champion has yet to nail a big title. His mentor and manager is none other than Gary Anderson.
Famous quote (about Anderson): "He's like a big brother or a father figure to me, he doesn't tell me too much but if I need the advice then he'll be there to tell me." (live-darts.com)

Daryl Gurney
Age: 31
Represents: Northern Ireland
Nickname: SuperChin
Darts: 24g Winmau
World ranking: 12
Known for... being a rising talent in the game, including a win over Gary Anderson in the world matchplay. He also made the Las Vegas final in July, on his world series debut, where he was beaten by the great Michael van Gerwen.
Famous quote: "I never thought when I got a tour card five years ago that I'd be travelling all over the world but now I've got the opportunity I want to make the most of it."

Simon Whitlock
Age: 48
Represents: Australia
Nickname: The Wizard
Darts: 22g Winmau
World ranking: 18
Known for... hitting a high in 2010 when the former bricklayer with the wizard look made the world darts final, where he was beaten by Phil Taylor. Won his only major title, the European Champs, two years later. Represented New Zealand 12 years ago when sponsored by a Kiwi darts firm.
Famous quote: "I'm not sure if everyone is happy with an Aussie playing for New Zealand. But I wore the badge very proudly. There was a great bunch of guys over there. I must say one thing though: they can sure drink." (Stuff)


Friday - 7pm
First Round
Best of 11 legs

Saturday - 7pm
Best of 19 legs


Sunday - 6pm
Best of 21 legs

World Series of Darts Order of Merit
32 Michael van Gerwen
20 Gary Anderson
13 Gerwyn Price
11 Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall, Raymond van Barneveld
9 James Wade
8 Daryl Gurney
6 Phil Taylor