Luke Littler knows Premier League play-off night is the ‘one that matters’

The 17-year-old finished top of the table.

Jonathan Veal
Wednesday 22 May 2024 16:37 BST
Luke Littler has took the Premier League by storm (Mike Egerton/PA)
Luke Littler has took the Premier League by storm (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Luke Littler knows the hard work is still ahead as he eyes winning the Premier League crown on debut.

The 17-year-old was handed a wildcard into the weekly roadshow tournament on the back of his mesmerising run to the World Championship final over Christmas.

And he has looked the part, topping the league phase with a record amount of points in the current format while also winning four nightly events on the way to the play-offs at the O2 Arena in London.

He faces Michael Smith in the semi-finals on Thursday, with a possible showpiece against Luke Humphries or Michael van Gerwen.

“I can’t wait to play in front of another big crowd,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get going.

“I am just glad I got the call-up, I am just glad I topped the group, never mind qualify. This is the one that matters, the trophy is on the line.”

Smith only qualified for the last four on the final week of the regular season in Sheffield, but he has beaten Littler five times.

“If I can get past Michael Smith it will be a big boost,” Littler added.

“I have just been thinking to myself try and win when it matters, tomorrow it matters a lot.


“It would mean a lot to win on debut and win a first major. I have to get past Smithy first.”

Smith wants to add the Premier League to his World Championship and Grand Slam titles.

“This is what it all boils down to, this is the one night, so hopefully I will get my hands on the title,” he said.

“There are four specific trophies I want, there is the Worlds, the Matchplay, the Premier League and the Grand Slam and I have got my hands on two of them so to get my hands on this now would definitely mean a lot.”

World number one Humphries is the favourite for the tournament and will be confident of prevailing against Van Gerwen, having beaten him in their last six meetings.

“Maybe it will be in his mind but he is the most experienced of us,” Humphries said.

“He has got good mental strength so he can put that to one side. It might play on his mind, he is very experienced, but I don’t think what has gone before will affect him.

“He is one of the greatest players that has ever been, he’s kind of underrated.”

No one loves this competition more than Van Gerwen, who is chasing an eighth title.

He has been a shadow of his usual self in recent weeks, but has told people not to back against him.

“I am still motivated, when I still walk on the stage I still enjoy what I do and that is really important,” the Dutchman said.

“I am working to get back into a spot where I have to be. It is not a one-day job but you have to keep remaining and keep working.

“Still no one will back against me. Maybe a tenner but no big one. I need to look for my own ability and my own focus. I am looking forward to it and I feel comfortable.

“I like the tournament a lot, it is good to perform against the best players in the world. That’s what drives me.”

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