Thursday, 26 November 2015
Tomorrow (27/11/15) i am making abit of am epic roadtrip.
I am driving 230 miles to Mexborough (home of darting legend Dennis Priestley) to play some Sheffield talent
Sheffield and the Yorkshire area is a hotbed of darts so its exciting to be playing against these great players.
Will keep you posted.
today i would like to bring the attention to Darius Labanauskas.
The Lithuanian has won 14 opens:
and currently sits at a fantastic 23 in the BDO world rankings.
Labanauskas has had a great 2015, having reached the last 32 of the BDO world championship, last 32 in the World Trophy and last 16 in the World Masters.
Watch him in action:
This might seem like an odd thing to say however i love a bad practice session.
I take positives from all practice, as there is always some benefit (even its just the fact you have clocked up more hours on the board)..
The reason for this is simple. I would rather get my BAD performance out of the way on the practice board then come match day.
I went through a stage where i was practicing great and had won a number of league matches without even dropping a leg. I then played every team member in the pub before the league games started (as was common every Monday pre-match, in a kind of mini 'inter' pub league) and rattled off 10 straight wins and left the board so others could practice as i was just dominating (and had been for weeks) . Then.......................we play our league match and i went up and i had an absolute stinker against a far inferior player. It just didn't get going for me, and i got frustrated and that was it. I blew so many match darts it wasn't even funny. Everyone was mystified how i'd turned in such a shocker??
The reality is that every once in a while you get a 'bad' patch. You can eliminate alot of it with practice and experience but they still happen. I was flying and due a 'bad one' and it kicked in on match day.
Its happened to all the greats, so is part of the game.
That's why if practice and playing has been going well, i welcome an occasional stinker on the practice board, better that than in a crucial game!
Lats night i took an hour and decided to go for my first 1000 darts at Bullseye challenge.
I gave myself one hour to do this.
Darts thrown: 1014
Outer bull: 175
Bull/OuterBull % :21%
I have to say though that i wasn't on form particularly and in addition this had a 60 minute time limit 20 had to average 16.6 darts a minute (or just over 5 rounds of 3).
My accuracy would have been better if i had taken my time, however that was quite a feat and I did however hit my first ever triple Bull:
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Darts thrown: 435
Outer bull: 109
Overall %: 26%
Whilst it doesn't look like a MASSIVE improvement (1%), the biggie for me is that i hit 31 bulls in 435, which was only 4 less than when i threw 765.
Hoping to do 1000 darts at bull on Wednesday.
Monday, 23 November 2015
Please check out this underrated classic between Les Wallace and Marshall James in 1997.
Wallace in 97/98 was arguably the best player in the BDO world then as he swept the World and Masters.
Les was also the first left handed player (PDC or BDO) to win the world title.
Check the win out here:
Many of you will be familiar with darts in Gibraltar from the PDC events, however there is a young player out there who has been clearing up in the Gibraltar Darts opens for the last 6 years and that's 31 year old Dyson Parody.
'Dynamite' Dyson has already won 13 open titles:
and has been competing in PDC pro-tour and BDO events for over a decade.
Look out for 'Dynamite' in future BDO Majors as one to watch!
I had a mega bull bonanza challenge on Friday 20th November. Now bare in mind i throw fast.
Darts thrown: 765
Outer bull: 150
Overall %: 25%
Now this was down on the previous night by 5% but i was cold when i started and whats more i was very tired 1/2 way thru.
I called it quits when landed 2 in bull and 1 outside (done this a few times early and said id only stop on a trip.bull or 2 in and 1 close)
The aim is 1000 darts at bully lol
Does feel like my arm will fall off now!
Friday, 20 November 2015
To some Australian darts is either Simon Whitlock, Paul Nicholson or Kyle Anderson. BIG name PDC players, however there are others who are tearing up the scene.
There is James Bailey tearing up the scene in Oz (as featured in blog feature below):
However there are several others making waves (excuse the pun). One of which is:
Rob Modra. The antipodean ace is currently the highest rated Australian in BDO darts (43 at the time of this blog) and has a staggering 24 titles to his name:
I think Rob is going to be capable of great things as he just narrowly missed out on the PDC Grandslam of Darts, finishing in the last 16.
Remember, you heard it here first folks
There is a new charismatic Canadian making waves in the world of darts.
His name is: Jeff Smith 'The Silencer' and he's the highest rated Canadian in the BDO rankings (33 at time of posting)
and has had some great results in 2015:
the highlight of course being his incredible showing in getting to the semi final in the BDO worlds.
Jeffs other wins include:
Check this rising star out at:
I decided to push the envelope last night and get 1/2 hour of practice in just on Bulls.
I had 273 shots at bullseye which yielded:
Darts thrown: 273
Bulls hit: 18
Outer bull: 58
Overall bull/outer bull % hit: 28%
so roughly i was hitting 1 in 3 in the 25/50 zone. These aren't great figures however a) i am just working back and b) i was never someone who practiced Bulls alot.
What was interesting though is that after the 273 i literally through 3 darts a T20 and hit all 3 for a perfect Bullseye!
Thursday, 19 November 2015
I just wanted to bring up the importance of NOT getting disheartened with practice if it doesn't go your way.
As you will know i am just easing back, and i have been pretty happy with my progress. I have just been easing back with 15 minutes a day.
Well the last 10 days or so was fantastic. I'd go up, i'd go round the singles fine, the doubles would go ok, my bulls would be ok, and i'd hit a lot of 80's to 140's (inc many many near 180s)
Well last night i decided to push the envelope. I started off on 20's and for about 10 minutes couldn't miss (hitting many 80's and 100s). I went around the board on singles and doubles as normal (fine) and then decided to push past my usual routine!
Well...............................When i went to hit the 20's i couldn't hit a thing. Seriously it was like i was throwing slippery traffic cones at the board. Eventually i started hitting the 20's again but for a period of 10 minutes i was rotten. I'd in effect played myself out of! I left the practice room annoyed, however if you focus on the negatives it negates the whole session and renders it like you shouldn't have bothered.
- I practiced
- I went around the board
- i hit a good number of 20's
- I hit my Bulls
How can their be a negative???
The morale of this: STAY POSITIVE ITS ALL GOOD!
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
It may be a surprise to some but the wonderful country of Egypt has a growing and thriving darts scene, with some good players.
My pick of the bunch so far would be Mohamed Gharieb and Ramy Banna whom i'm told contested a good final in the Egyptian darts federation a short while ago.
I have visited this wonderful country and would love to play some darts against their finest
check out Egypt darts below:
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
I just wanted to answer all your questions at once, with regards ads to why i have posted on some 'unknown' players from darts, or rather 'unknown' in some areas or countries.
My reason is pretty simple. There are a large number of fantastic, exciting, skillful and charismatic darts players out there who will rarely get a chance to be seen, or appreciated outside of their local darts league or country.
The darts scene, certainly from a television point of view in the UK is 99% dominated by the PDC, which means that 99% of the time you are only going to see players who feature in the top 32 or even top 16. The BDO has very little television coverage (except Eurosport or BBC) with the majority of events getting no coverage at all which means there are legions of players out there who will never get exposure.
I am a big believer that variety is the spice of life and whilst watching the PDC top 16 go at it every week would likely see 110% averages and at least one 9 darter a week it would get boring at some point, especially seeing the same old faces (which is what nearly killed the BDO in the 80s).
For me darts is about the characters as much as anything else. Bristow for example cannot do big averages anymore but you'd pay to watch him in a heartbeat and there are so many characters out there that bring more to the game than just 180's or high outs. I'm talking 80 year olds hitting 138 outs, or 4'11" players throwing enormous Brass darts with turkey feathers and hitting 140's.
Some will argue about the 'standard' however a game with a 50% or 70% ave can be exciting. Its all about the players, the pressure and the outshots!
The majority of players cannot identify with a Van Gerwen or Taylor as these are paid professionals and whats more they don't have to go to work everyday and fit darts around that. It should also be noted that as of 17/11/2015, no one ranked 60-180 in the PDC earned over £20,000 over 2 years and players ranked 88 to 180 didn't even earn £10,000 over 2 years! Realistically only the top 32 are earning 'BIG' bucks (and remember players have to pay all expenses out of those winnings)
What the average player can identify with is BDO players and players who are not signed to 'contracts' etc. This is why i love the prospect of playing against players from all over the country and all over the world. great darts players who love darts and you can have a game with, without it costings you a £1,500 to £12,000 appearance fee!
I myself have been involved in some absolute crackers of matches that have had drama, big scores and excitement that's had whole pubs watching, its an incredible palpable feeling and there's nothing like it. In-fact i had one match where someone (not drunk may i add) came up and said that was as exciting as anything they'd watched live which was a great compliment.
So get behind other players, find them on Youtube, and you'll find some hidden gems!
My last post today is on another Filipino player. A player whom has won 7 soft tip majors and 6 Asian steeltip events.
I am of course talking about Lourence Ilagan. The Philippines is a hotbed for darts however very few players have the opportunity to play outside their native land. A fact not lost on the classy and respectful Ilagan who can lay claim to being arguably the best soft-tip player in world darts.
Ilagan has graced the PDC world championships in 2013, an incredible feat for an overseas player in itself and has had the honor of representing his country at 2 PDC world cup of darts events.
Check out Lourence Ilagan below:
There is a player out there that i think does not get the recognition he deserves and that's Jaunito Gionzon.
The Filipino darts ace has won:
Hong Kong open 2014
Malaysian open 2014
PDC World Philippines Qualifying Event 2010
whats more 'Boy' as he's nicknamed qualified for the PDC world championship in 2011, a magnificent feat for an oversees player in itself.
There is a player out there who i think can and will make BIG strides in the darting world in the next 5 years and thats darts other 'Viking' Boris Koltsov.
Koltsov currently plays in the BDO, however this year in 2015, the 'Viking' did the incredible and qualified for the PDC World Championships. he may have lost in the first round to perennial PDC veteran Kevin Painter, however he took a set off the 'The artist' and at 27 time is very much on his side.
Catch the match here:
A world cup representative, lets all get behind darts new 'Viking' as we head into 2016!
When you think of Australian darts stars the names Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson will probably instantly flash up in the minds of PDC fans, however there is another Austrailan darts star that seems to go unnoticed outside of his native land.
This being of course: James Bailey.
Ranked 58 in the BDO rankings Bailey was a 2015 Australian Masters winner and is currently ranked as the number 1 darts player in Australian darts
Alas the UK has yet to see the antipodean ace in full flow yet however you can catch footage of him here:
Lets hope he continues his fine form and we get to see him eventually qualify for the BDO worlds.
Check out James profile here:
In my recent vein of trying to bring some recognition to unheralded talent outside of their homeland i wanted to focus my attention today on:
DJ Sayre, a United States darts player who currently plays for the BDO.
Sayre has won 4 ADO open events since 2010 and has competed in a number of BDO and PDC events.
Check out the BIG guy at:
Monday, 16 November 2015
I am a BIG advocate of players getting recognition they deserve, especially players that might not be familiar to all but the hardcore fan
Today i am going to focus on Seigo Asada, a fantastic Japanese BDO player and 3 times Japanese Open winner (in 4 years).
People must remember that the majority of BDO matches take place in Europe, however in 2014 he had a fantastic showing in the 2014 World Masters (beating Darryl Fitton as a highlight) in reaching the last 16 and in 2015 Asada qualified for the BDO world championship losing to the experienced and top 16 player Brian Dawson.
Although ranked 154 (as of 16/11/15) in the BDO ranking it should be again remembered that there is a lack of events for Asada to play in and i see see BIG things on the horizon for 'the Ninja'!
I just wanted to give a little insight into what i feel causes major issues in players games and sets players back. The subject is.....................Darts tinkering!
It is easy, oh so easy. You see a new set and like a magpie you have to have it.
I have tried everything from 10g Red dragon featherlites to 48g BunkerBusters and everything in between. Smooth, knurled, pixel, ringed, you name it i've tried it, all in the ongoing search for that elusive laser guided dart that guarantees treble 20 every throw.
Unfortunately, as is often the case this results in setbacks,as you find yourself changing grip, throw, stance etc trying to adapt to that new £30 dart that looks incredible but you can barely hit the board with.
The key is (and i was the worlds worst) to try a few shapes and find one that feels natural and then..........................STICK WITH IT!!!
I have had winning darts and then changed inexplicably as the didn't look right, or i wanted xxxx instead.
If you look back at the players who have done REALLY well, they have all have all stuck with the same or same style of dart:
Bristow: 5 world titles with the same style dart
Lowe: 3 world titles with the same style of dart
Van Gerwen: Multiple PDC majors with the SAME dart
Ted Hankey: 2 world titles with the same dart
Andy Fordham: Multiple BDO majors with same dart
Priestley: 2 x world champion and multiple Majors with same darts
There are many, many more, and it speaks volumes about the virtue of finding a dart and learning it like a precision instrument.
So my advice, find a dart and stick with it
I wanted to take this opportunity to comment on the absolutely inspiring story that was and is Andy 'The Viking' Fordham's return to televised darts after a near 10 year absence and far more importantly near death health issues.
Fordham, 53 had to win 8 matches including taking out the current BDO number 1 (and to my mind a genuine contender for the BDO world title and i expect a future PDC mover) to qualify for the Grandslam of Darts, a tremendous feat in itself.
Fordham didn't get an easy group, drawing PDC top 10 rated Adrian Lewis (rated no 5 and a 2 x PDC world champion), Michael Smith (rated 8th) and 43 rated Wayne Jones.
To a rapturous response Fordham opened up by hitting a 180 with his first 3 darts, and proceeded to average in the mid 90's as he narrowly lost 5-2.
I have included a link below:
Fordham won his second match against Jones when he won 5-3 before losing 5-2 to Smith,
Unfortunately Fordham didn't qualify for the later rounds, however that is almost inconsequential at this point. It was only a few years ago he was at deaths door and it was considered highly unlikely he'd ever return to a decent standard of play let alone TV, however the will of the man is remarkable.
I have met Fordham personally and he is a terrific man. Polite and respectful, there is no ego on the man and it is easy to see why he was and still is phenomenally popular figure in darts.
I would recommend to everyone that they buy his book:
It is a fantastic read and gives real insight into both darts and his personal battles against alcohol and ill-health.
Watching Fordham has given me real inspiration to pick up the Tungsten in earnest again. The man has overcome all odds which should be a lesson to us all.
Moving forward i hope Fordham can build on this, and really hammer home at the BDO events, darts is better place with him than without.
If you have never seen him, look him up on youtube
Take care all