The Blue Square UK Open is an innovative darts tournament where, following numerous regional qualifying heats throughout Britain, 128 players compete in a single elimination tournament to be crowned champion.
It has earned the nickname, the "FA Cup of darts" due to the fact that the minnows can come up against the big boys. There are also no seedings for the top players which means the top players can be drawn against each other at any stage. Just like the FA Cup, a random draw takes place after each round to determine the matches for the next round.
Since 2003, the UK Open has been broadcast in June each year from the Reebok Stadium, in Bolton. Phil Taylor beat Shayne Burgess in the inaugural final. Dutchman Raymond van Barneveld won the tournament in 2006, the first ever ranking tournament with the PDC in which he has played. He knocked out 13-times World Champion Phil Taylor 11-10 en route to the final where he beat Barrie Bates 13-7.
Taylor has twice achieved the perfect nine-dart finish in the UK Open in 2004 and 2005. Budweiser's three-year sponsorship ended in 2006, with bookmakers Blue Square taking over as title sponsor in 2007.