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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Kevin Munch:I said he'd make waves!


Hi Guys

I seem to be on a roll at the moment with my world watches.

I singled out Rob Cross to make it BIG this year and another of my world watches Kevin Munch:

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/world-watch-kevin-munch-hitting-gold-in.html

has just taken out 2x PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis in the first round of the  2018 World Championship!

With Klassen,  Bunting, Lewis, Wade, Chizzy, Webster all suffering first round exits i think we could see some unexpected players going deep this year

Luke

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Paul Lim delivers a staggering performance aged 63 to show everyone that age is no barrier!



Hi Guys

Wow!!!!

That's all i can say!

Watching Paul Lim, aged 63 (64 in January) and the last active player from the 80's golden era and who made his World Championship debut in 1982 (35 years ago, before Mark Webster was even born) perform better than he had at any previous World Championship was breathtaking stuff!



Whats even more remarkable is that Lim had to play a prelim match beforehand (winning 2-0), and then to take the 5th set 3-0 at nearly midnight to win 3-2. To do that at any age is tough let alone over 60 and shows just what a legend the man is.

In doing so Lim qualified for the first round for the first time in 4 years and reached the second round for the first time in 15 years. To do it with his highest average ever in the Championship and under these conditions is quite frankly staggering!

It was fantastic seeing the crowd get behind him and his ovation at the end would be worthy of anyone winning the Championship.

In an era when age is always being sighted as a reason not to do something or be considered unable to do something Lim is for me just pure inspiration.  To put things into perspective, Lim is 3 years older Nearly 4) than Eric Bristow who has been retired from the Professional ranks for 20 years, 6 nearly 7 years older than Keith Deller who retired 10 years ago and he has outlasted a number of his contemporaries and 90's counterparts.

Next up is former 2x World Champion Gary Anderson. It will be a VERY tall order but even if he doesn't get through, he gave us something special that will be remembered for years to come

Luke



Monday, 18 December 2017

PDC World Championship 2018: My prediction


Hi Guys

Its that time of year again.

Im abit late with this, and there has already been a few surprises with Bunting, Chizzy and Klassen all making first round exits.

On paper it would seem like one of the obvious 2 to win it in Gary Anderson and MVG seeing as both have won it twice in the last 4 years.

It has been nice to See  Steve Beaton and Vincent Van De Voort progress to round 2, however its the half with MVG which will be a VERY tall order for anyone.

Really want to see Paul Lim get through the prelim and face off against Mark Webster.  I'm a fan of Webster however i have a soft spot for the 'older' player and Lim is the last of the 'Golden' era of 80's BDO players still active having made his BDO World Championship debut in 1982 (35 years ago).

We of course cant write off the 16x World Champion Phil Taylor, whose appearing in his last World Championship and will look to go out on a high.  Everyone wrote him off before the 2017 Matchplay and look what he did there, and Rob Cross is having an amazing 2017 and seems like set play.

As usual i am going with a favorite and an outsider

Favorite: MVG to power to his 3rd World Champsionship
Outsider: Rob Cross

Lets see how it goes

Luke





2017 Zuiderduin Masters: Well done to Danny Noppert who takes the 2017 trophy!


Hi Guys

I have been off the scene for abit, however i just wanted to say a BIG

"WELL DONE"

to Danny Noppert who won his first BDO major in the 2017 Zuiderdiun Masters.



In doing so Noppert ended Glen Durrant's run of 2 consecutive wins and become the first Dutchman in 13 years to lift the Trophy (the last being Barney's 5-1 over Ted Hankey in 2014, when Noppert was 13)

Having reached the BDO World Final in 2017 and now adding this Major Noppy will be one to watch in the 2018 World Championship




Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Interview with the Legend Dennis 'The Menace' Priestley


Dear all

It is my absolute pleasure to bring you my interview with the 2x Champion of the World, and true  Legend in the sport of darts.............. Dennis 'The Menace' Priestley!




Q1: You seemed to come out of nowhere aged 40 in 1990, won the BDO World Championship in your first appearance in 1991 and then seemed to win everything. When did you start playing darts, What were you doing in darts before then and what made you turn pro (it was obviously a fantastic decision)?

DP: I had a bet on a horse called Grundy which won the derby in1976 so I bought a set of tungsten darts which were £11.20. I started playing once a week in a league an then all of a sudden I was playing everyday in different leagues, and I won local individual titles. I won McCeans open at Morecombe I think in 1983.I then got selected for Yorkshire and England I went to some tournaments and qualified for the embassy which after winning at my 1st attempt allowed me to turn professional

Q2: You use a very specific set of darts, what were the darts you used before your Winmau model and what weights have you used. It’s rumoured that you won the 1991 Worlds with a 12g set which if true is a record for lightest darts to have won a World Championship (either PDC or BDO)?

DP: My darts started at 26g copper tungsten they wore down to 11g and were this weight wen I won both world champs they eventually broke on the thread.

Q3: Bobby George tells a story of a practice match you had with him at lakeside in 1992 where you had darts at a 9 darter for the 5 legs played and you went 10-10-10-10-9 in legs which prompted him to have  a large bet on you.  Bobby Said it’s the greatest performance he’d seen.  Can you share any details on this legend?

DP: Yes what Bobby says is correct

Q4: An obvious one but how often and for how long did you used to practice, both pre-professional and after and did you change anything up as you got older?

DP: I played everyday and after turning pro I had plenty of exhibition work which was good practice. As I got older I found that I didn’t practice much but did practice coming up to tournaments. Now the darts circuit is full and they are playing competitive darts which keeps them match fit.

Q5: This ties into Q4. What were your practice routines both pre-professional and after and did you change anything up as you got older?

DP: I used to go round the doubles and different finishes up to 80 then round off with games of 501

Q6: You have a very poised throw which was different from anyone else at the time. Was this something that came natural or by necessity?

DP: By necessity

Q7: After winning the championship again in 1994, winning everything and hitting the averages you were (100+, which then was exceptional) it must have felt like you were about to dominate darts for the foreseeable future, however the 6-1 loss lit a fire under Taylor that in effect drove him to become the greatest ever.   It must have felt at times like “what have I done”?

DP: yes I always tell people that I made him the all-time best player by that 6 1 beating.

Q8:  What is your favourite match outside of your majors?

DP: I once did 2 nine dart games and missed double 18 for a 3rd in an exhibition in Woolwich. I know the Winmau World Masters is a major but I had 2 of my best games I beat Alan Warriner in the semis with a 105 average and then Mike Gregory in the final with a 102 average.

Q9: You retired from the circuit in 2014 after an incredible career winning major titles, and events. What prompted the decision to call it a day?

DP: I lost my desire and also my age prompted me to call it a day, I still do exhibitions and legend nights.

Q10:  How is your health now, and how do you spend your days now you are not active on the professional circuit.


DP: My health at the moment is good ,I have blood tests every year to check my P.S.A. levels as I said in Q9 I still do exhibitions when asked .

I just want to take the opportunity to thank Mr Priestley for doing me this honor, it has been a privilege 

Luke


Friday, 1 December 2017

Zuiderduin Masters 2017: My Prediction


Hi Guys

One of my fave tournaments starts the 8th of December, the 22nd annual Zuiderduin Masters!




I have a soft spot for the Dutch anyway, however this is a fantastic event and a highlight of the BDO calendar.

The trophy has been lifted in the past by such darting alumni as:

Gary Anderson (x2)
Barney (x4)
Martin Adams (x2)

Glen Durrant has won it the last 2 years in a row, and based on current form would be favoured to be the first player to lift in 3x in a row.

Mark McGeeney is having a cracking 2017 also though having won 4 opens (including the Dutch open) and getting to the World Masters final.

Im going to have to go with Glen on this one though i wouldn't be surprised to see McGeeney, Waites, Mitchell or even Fitton come out on top

Luke















How I Got into Darts: Chapter 12: The day i realised i could be a good player!


The date was the 22nd of June 2015.

This was the day/date when I realised that I had what it takes, not just to be a good pub darts player but potentially a player who could make some waves at local tournaments.

It was by far the greatest darts match I had played up to that point.

It wasn't my near victory over Eric Bristow or my run to the doubles final, but a match that if it needed a headline would be called "Redemption":

We were playing against the Seagull and it was the first time that I had come up against my old team since I left.

It was 16 months in the making and it felt like a shot at redemption and the opportunity to show that I wasn’t the player they thought I was.

Now it should be stated that the Seagull were a VERY good team. They had got promoted to the top league the season I was with them (don’t think they lost) and all their players were of a good standard. 

I was Captain at the time and when the draw was being done, in my head I was thinking “don’t draw their Captain, don’t draw their Captain”

Guess what………………I drew their Captain!

Now let me explain, there team was full of good players however their Captain was VERY good (didn’t lose a league game the season I was with them) and took the game seriously. I had watched him give (then) BDO top 30 player Gary Stafford all he could handle (and had darts to win) in the cup when at the Seagull so knew he had a strong game and was a better player than me.

I can remember everything clearly. 

I was wearing a bright Dutch orange polo shirt , using 18 gram red dragon featherlite darts, short medium nylon deflectagrip stems in blue and Co Stompe orange Kite Flights.

I was used to ending up going on late (23:00+) however fortunately the draw was kind and I was early in the third match (about 21:00).

My heart was racing, this would be a shot at redemption for me:

He won the bull however I got off to a flyer hitting BIG scores as did he.

He hit 60, I hit 60, he hit 60, I hit 80, he hit 80, I hit 138, he hit 100, I hit 120, he hit 100, I hit 100

I took the first leg taking out D4 after some iffy D16’s, averaging around 80!

He then took the second leg in a close one.

It was now 1-1.

 I won the bull to start to start the decider and i again got off to a blinder hitting 

140,46, 95,100, 80,  to leave myself on 40 after 15 darts and my opponent still back on 270!

At this point my heart was littering beating out of my chest and I botched D20 to end up on 5. 

I took out 2-1-d1 to take the decider!

Afterwards even a lot of their team said “great darts”, which was nice. 

It was a special moment for me to beat a player of that quality, in that situation, in that way and showed that on my day I could be a match for a lot of good players!

Interview with 2001 PDC Grand Prix Winner and former BDO and PDC World number 1: ' the Iceman' Alan Warriner-Little


Hi Guys

It is my pleasure to bring to you my interview with the former 2001 PDC Grand Prix Winner and former BDO and PDC World number 1, ' the Iceman' Alan Warriner-Little:




Q1:  A nice easy and obvious one but how did you get into playing darts and did you have any inspirations?

AWL: Started playing darts in a league when I was in a snooker, billiards and darts league team in Lancaster for my then snooker skills!! around 1983 (I did play at home but wasn’t in any darts teams at the time) They were short one week so put me in to play darts and I beat who was considered the best player in the league at the time, he wasn’t happy so challenged me to another game after the match for £5, which was a lot then, and beat him again. So then played Darts regularly and I won the singles the same year. My Dad who got me into this team was one of the top darts & billiards players in his time so got it from him.

Q2: You actually appeared on Bullseye as a contestant before becoming a professional player. Memories of that show?

AWL: Bullseye was brilliant, and still is, at the time it used to have an incredible following on Sundays going well into the millions, and was massive in the sense of promoting the game. I remember travelling down straight from a night shift at 7am as work wouldn't give me the night off so was pretty tired. Everyone at the show really made you welcome and having 3 shows a day you got to know a lot of other people there. We won the show, but didn’t gamble at the time as we had over £600 and most of the prizes and you gambled everything at that time. My wife now still has it on the SKY planner, with all the ones I did since when I did the bronze bully challenge ‘About 6’ she often puts them on when we have visitors, so I leg it upstairs…!!  

Q3: You made an impact virtually instantly, winning the British Pentathlon in 1988 (ending Lowe’s 6 year run beating him in the final) , winning the Belgium and Dutch Opens in 89 and going to a sudden death leg with Jocky in the second round  of your World Championship debut, having had 8 match darts to win.   You were only mid 20’s at the time, memories of that time (if you had won it could have changed the face and future of darts as Bristow may have gone on to win his 6th title or you could have done an 83 Deller).

AWL: Yes, got into the County team very quickly, and started playing in the opens etc Was selected for England within 1 year of playing County Darts and won the 2nd open event I played in ‘Isle of Man Open 1986’ I won £1,000 for that and was only on a small wage at the time. Into 88 & 89 got sponsored off Datadart * Managed by Tommy Cox so started travelling to the World Ranked Opens and had an immediate impact, and started qualifying for the TV events. Against Jocky Wilson, I remember I was 0-3 down in sets then woke up to get back to 3-3 and lead in final set, I left 46 after 9 darts but couldn’t hit the double to win it ‘8 Darts’ and eventually lost. Could have changed everything, but at the end of the day it didn’t happen.    

Q4: An obvious one but what were your first set of darts and what were your practice routines back then and as you developed.

AWL: First set of darts I got was for x-mas, were bristows darts and got a board so used to play a lot at home in my bedroom, my darts after that ‘From Datadart’ were very similar. Used to just play in a lot of leagues in the town, most nights basically and at home. As when you go out, your not just playing you play before and after.

Q5: You made the 1993 final against John Lowe, derailing Steve Beaton 5-2 in the semi-final when Beaton was running through everyone. What happened in the final with Lowe, you didn’t look like the same player, though interestingly despite the scoreline in the averages there was nothing in it.

AWL: Just didn’t happen, had loads of chances early on but made it too hard to get back.

Q6: You were Mr Consistency in the PDC for 15 years, consistently making late round in tournaments (7 quarter finals and 2 semi-finals in the world championship), were both the World number 1 in BDO and PDC and winning multiple events. What do you attribute your ability to stay at the top for so long to?

AWL: Desire to win, didn’t like losing so used to go into a game with the attitude ‘Your Not Beating Me’

Q7: The 2001 PDC Grand Prix was a Massive win for you, your first PDC major and hitting a 106.45 average on double start which stands to this day (2017). Memories of that event, you looked like you wouldn’t be denied!

AWL: Getting that first World win was ‘The Monkey off the back' scenario’s as had lost in so many semis and finals. I was so determined to win, I wasn’t going to let it go this time, my focus was incredible, I wasn’t to be denied. 

Q8: If you could name your one greatest match what would it be (televised or other) – heard you posted a 9 darter in the Irish Open in 2002 (back before it was common as it is now).

AWL: Probably the semi-final of the WMP v Baxter, who was one of the top boys at the time. I just hit everything, I remember Jeff Stelling saying to me after, I spoke to you during one of the breaks and you didn’t know I was there, you were so focused. The other was an invitation open in Surrey where I beat Phil Taylor in the Final, both of us averaged over 106 which was unheard of at the time.

Q9: You retired from the Professional circuit in 2010 (think Australian Open Players Championship that August) at the young age of 47/48. What prompted the move as there still a fair few over 50 competing now?

AWL: I actually retired in 2007, I only played in the Australian Open in 2010 as I was over there with 4 other players doing a week of exhibitions work. I stopped enjoying it, and didn’t want to practice, at the same time I started doing the PDPA work which I an still doing and was asked by ITV to do the first Grand Slam of Darts as a pundit/commentator, which I am still doing so it was an easy transition.

Q10:  What a typical day in the life of Mr Warriner-Little these days?


AWL: With the PDPA work I do now, it is pretty much 24/7 as during the week we have a PDPA office in Carlisle 10-4, I attend most PDC events ‘Pro-Tour, Challenge Tour, Development Tour, TV Events’ which take up most weekends, and work from home when not travelling, in the office or at events. We get a constant stream of calls, texts, emails and queries, comments and complaints from players and I also run the PDPA website by myself ‘www.pdpa.co.uk’ which has to have all the updated information on regarding rules, changes, deadlines, travel, hotels event info etc, etc on a daily basis, I am also in daily communication with the PDC & DRA on all issues so its pretty much now stop. And have a lot of PDPA Partners, I still do the odd exhibition when I can fit it in.

I just want to take the time to thank Mr Warriner-Little for taking the time to do this interview as it has been an honor and pleasure.

Luke



Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Out with the old, In with the new...........Winmau Blade 5 Board!

Hi Guys

Take a look at this Winmau Masters board: 






No it hasn’t spent a life on the rubbish tip or some ancient social club, a relic of the early 80’s!

This is the board I have been using for about 3 years. It’s served me well but has become utterly unplayable. Now I like to use an old style board as I find it makes you more accurate (thicker wires, staples etc.) however there comes a time when the thing is so wrecked that it’s actually a hindrance to practicing!

The time has truly come to put this thing out to pasture.

Look at that T20. I must have been doing something right!

I there elected to finally trade up to the latest Winmau Blade 5. Now I know there is a lot of debate over the Unicorn HD 2 vs Blade 5.

Now I have owned a HD and I’ll be honest it lasted only a few months. It looked great out of the box (stunning in-fact), but after a few hours play it looked a year old! Admittedly my inaccuracy played a part however 2 numbers on the ring broke in the first 5 minutes, and the spider looked wretched by this point. That I changed it for the Winmau Masters within a few months speaks volumes.

 You only have to see the issues players in the PDC are having at major tournaments (bounce outs and fallouts) to know that something isn’t quite right.

The Blade board is a pub standard and the official board of the BDO. I have had a 2 and a 3, and played my league matches on a 4 and they’re great, and the 5 is no exception. Wafer thin spider, clear as hell and looks great!

I was lucky in that Argos were doing a deal for £35 for both the board and the surround! 

So here you have it, my new setup:




I would truly advise anyone thinking of buying one to invest in one of these.


Take Care

Luke

Monday, 27 November 2017

PDC Players Championship 2017: Summary


Hi Guys

A great Players Championship 2017. came to an end Sunday, with MVG coming out a deserved winner over the 3 days averaging about 104 for the tournament.

There was some upsets along the way with my pick Gary Anderson going out in the first round and  Dave Chisnall bowing out in the second round to William O’Connor.

I must single out a few players who I thought were outstanding:

Justin Pipe: Overcame number 2 seed Darryl Gurney 10-9 in the quarter final to reach his furthest in a major since the Players Championship 2013. Here’s hoping that this will help propel the ‘Force’ back up the rankings.

Rob Cross: My number 2 pick made the quarters for the 3rd consecutive PDC event, and has come from nowhere to reach number 20 in the OOM in less than 1 year.

Steve Beaton: The ‘Adonis’ reached his furthest in a PD major since the World Matchplay 2016 and if it wasn’t for a very spirited performance from Jonny Clayton (himself reaching his first ever major final) he could have been a  finalist for the first time since the 2009 European Championship.

All in all it was great to see a variety of players showcased that we don’t usually get to see and a  BIG Well Done to MVG who won his 4th title in 5 years.




Tuesday, 21 November 2017

PDC Players Championship Final 2017: My View

Hi Guys

Its one of my favourite tournaments of the year this week, the Players Championship final 2017, held at Butlins Minehead.

I love this as it gives a chance of television time to players you won’t usually see on TV events as they are outside of the top 16 and 32.

Now that’s not a knock on the PDC, however some of the tournaments are top xx only, which means that you are seeing the same matches (however fantastic quality) over and over again, whereas I like the idea of floor events where anyone can qualify.

In-fact at £100,000 for the winner, it’s a fantastic opportunity for players lower down the top 64 to rocket up the OOM, crack the top 16 or secure their position.

There is a helluva lot to play for.

This could be a breakthrough tournament for Rob Cross, as he has excelled on the pro tour this year winning 4 events and topping the tour order of merit (oom), is getting better by the month and is arguably the newcomer of the year.

Whilst I’d love for it to be an upset winner it  will be hard to look past MVG who has won this in 3 of the last 4 years, 2014 winner Gary Anderson and Peter Wright (who won the UK Open and has been a finalist in Matchplay, Grandslam and Premier League events this year).

I’m therefore going to cop out and choose 2, 1 from the favourite pile and 1 from the outsider section.

Favourite: Gary Anderson
Outsider: Rob Cross

Lets’ see how it unfolds

Luke

Monday, 20 November 2017

Rob Cross: I said he was one to watch!



Hi Guys

back in March 2017, i did one of my World Watch blogs:

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/world-watch-rob-cross-this-guy-is-gonna.html

on Rob Cross saying he was one to watch in 2017/18 and boy has that come to true.

Since then Cross has won 3 more Player Championship events, made multiple tour finals and qualified for the BIG TV events as well as storming up the rankings (23 at the time of this post)!

Considering that less than 2 years ago he was playing causal darts in the pub, this is an incredible achievement!

If he can keep this up i can see top 10 within the next 12 months.

Rob Cross: You are a MASSIVE inspiration to us all

Luke

Friday, 3 November 2017

3/11/2017: 180!!!


Hi guys

Just hit a 180 with 24g Ton Machines,  short nlyons and 75mn Les Wallace flights




Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Interview with 2017 BDO World Champion Glen Durrant




Dear all
I would like to take the opportunity to give you my interview with the BDO World Number 1, the winner of 5 BDO majors 20 other tournament wins. The current BDO 2017 World Champion………Glen ‘Duzza’ Durrant



Q1: How did you get into playing darts and did you have any inspirations? 

A: My brother was a good player and darts was in the family, local workingman’s club nearby, therefore that culture of a few beers and a game of darts and snooker was in the blood. I was actually a good Billiards player but was asked to help out with the darts team one night. I was hooked from that moment.

Q2: You started playing in the 80’s but didn’t feature in the Big tournaments until 2004, what were you doing before then? 

A: I played in the British teenage championships in 1986, but like many people from 1988 onwards I met a girl and darts was put on the backburner. I met up with a former Super League captain in 1999 and was asked to return, that was the period I started playing 5 hours per night, winning local league matches / super league matches and representing Cleveland County.  2004-2007 was a funny period as my wedding took priority and basically the finances made it difficult to incorporate darts into my routine, if memory serves me right I was working on a karaoke to pretty much pay the bills. In 2007 a local player called Collin Foxton showed me an easel he had built and we agreed to build 6 more. For 12 months I knocked on every pub / club door to see if they would have a darts competition. I created the Teesside Ranking Events. www.freewebs.com/teesdarts  - My darts career changed so much from 2007 - 2011 as I started dominating these events with the best players in the North East attending. In 2011 the decision to do the BDO circuit was agreed and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Q3: You currently use a set of darts made popular by Eric Bristow. What were your firsts set of darts and do they vary from what you use today? 

A: 1985 - 1999 Alan Glazier Ton Machine 1999-2009 Jocky Wilson (screw in tips) 2009-2010 Darryl Fitton darts 2010-2013 Tony O Shea Darts 2013 to date harrows Duzza Dart. Pretty much all of the darts have the Bristow design 

Q4: You are one of only a few players to use flights other than standards, is there any particular reason or story behind it? 

A: I just find they suit my throw. I have tried the standard but would require a sustained period of time to throw with .... and I don’t have that time 

Q5: When did you know that you had ‘more’ than the average player and that this could be more than just a hobby? 

A: I remember beating Jamie Caven in 2010 who was down for an exhibition in Middlesbrough in one of the Teesside Ranking Events and his words pretty much equated to 'Time to move on now' - Tony O Shea was also a big inspiration with his words. To play with him a few years later in Canada representing England in the World Cup was extra special - I walked away from Canada knowing I could reach the top of the BDO.

Q6: Is there one match or tournament that you consider a turning point for you? 

A: I remember being thumped 9-1 by Tery Jenkins at the PDC UK Open and locking myself away for another 1 hour extra per night, to reach the heights of Jenkins that night. Winning in Northern Ireland with my family by my side was special. Selsey has been great to me winning all events; in fact I always played well in EDO events. But my match with Martin Adams in the semi-final of Lakeside was that turning point for many reasons.

Q7: Everything just seemed to click in from 2015 where you won 9 titles and since then you have won everything including the Zuiderdiun Masters twice, English Matchplay the last 3 years, Master’s twice and the World championship in 2017. Is there anything you changed or have done different to kick start this explosive run of form? 

A: Late developer / Lesson learned from each loss / Quality practise sessions / Confidence / Belief / Experienced painful defeats / Breathing exercises via the help of Stephen McKibben / Preparation - Put all this into a pot and stir twice 

Q8: As a player who whilst no age is over 40 have you found age has affected your darts at all or how you have to practice (personally I would say you have got better and better), whereas some other players have tailed off at this point? 

 A: Answer similar to above. The passion to practice day in and day out gets more difficult, therefore I did change my routine that’s brings in more intensity than in my early years. But won’t give too much away 😊

Q9: Your match with Adams in the 2015 Worlds Semi-final was insane, averaging nearly 100 (in 11 sets) and with 12 100+ finishes each it was as good as anything seen on TV. Memories of that match? 

A: The turning point as stated above, I was never going to win that match and I didn’t know how to get over the winning line, I would still be throwing at a winning double now. After an initial period of disappointment, I met up with Stephen McKibben who changed a few things and I then went on to dominate the next 3 seasons finishing Number 1 and 2 X World Masters Champion plus 25 BDO titles and that amazing Lakeside title - Sponsorship was flying in from that moment.

Q10: As a player who has achieved a HUGE amount comparatively later in his journey do you have any advice for aspiring players who haven’t made it yet? 

A: Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit 

Once again a BIG thank you to a true gent for taking time to deliver a great interview


Luke

Friday, 13 October 2017

The importance of looking at the positive: How i could have saved myself 2 years of lost progress!



Hi Guys

Whilst this is about darts, it can be applied to virtually anything.

Now i know that alot of new players read the blog, and that alot are getting frustrated with a lack of progress. I have covered this in some bits before however it is important to re-iterate that when you watch darts on television, especially the PDC you are usually seeing the top 16 in the World, professional players (whose sole job is to hit the T20 and double) and that it doesn't paint the reality of the majority of darts matches.  Skip outside of the PDC top 16 and no one is hitting 100+ averages every match.

This needs to be taken into account when starting or having played for abit. Unless you are a darts prodigy, no player picks up the darts and hits a 9 darter there first 9 darts!

It is therefore important to look at where you have come from and what you have achieved along your journey (be it darts or anything).

When I first started I could barely hit the board let alone the number I wanted (I wasn’t smart enough to buy a surround so the area around my board look like it had suffered small arms fire) and after a few months I could average about 35 p3d.

In under a year I made the local areas mixed doubles final, was beating everyone in my pub team (consistently) , winning matches against players who had played for decades, had a match where I’d hit a silly 100+ average,  and played and nearly beat Eric Bristow and yet for some reason this still wasn’t enough!

I was constantly changing my setup and a few recurring injuries came back to haunt me which cost me a few matches and like a sulky teenager who hasn’t got his own way I fell in and out of love and playing darts in general.

In short I enjoyed it when I was winning and playing well…………and handling losses and playing badly, well badly! I was the definition of a bad loser.

I’d look for any excuse, the noise, going on late, my fellow players, alcohol (or lack thereof), my opponents style and then work myself into frenzy, often coming home in a foul mood and lying awake all night reliving it!

The reality is that I was my own worst enemy. I was changing darts almost daily, and sometimes going to a match where I’d used them for all of 5 minutes.  It was probably a testament to my ability that I was even able to be competitive given these situations, and even then there were only 2 or 3 matches where I didn’t have darts at a double to win it.

Not that you could have told me that at the time. I don’t know what I was expecting, to be Phil Taylor in a year??

I can genuinely only imagine how I may have progressed if I had stuck with just 1 set!
A series of back and shoulder issues (probably exasperated by changing darts, throwing style, etc. etc.) combined with the pressure I was putting on myself saw me fall out of love with the game and stop playing.

Unfortunately that's me, my desire to be the best, or constantly achieve more can be a great attribute but also hideously destructive if focused wrong.  I will push and push beyond the limits. It was the same in boxing, wrestling or weightlifting for me! 

Well after a long period without play, just the occasional recreational throw, I saw that i still had something so i started practicing and initially things looked good. I was hitting a 70 average, checking out 50%+ in practice and was enjoying it. 

I re-joined my old team, however unfortunately I hadn’t learned my lesson, started tinkering again and put way too much pressure on myself, and was practicing way to hard and for 2 long.

I returned won an absolute stinker of a match, came home furious, and then started practicing like a lunatic in the days after. I would literally throw until my arm felt like it was going to fall off, wait 5 minutes and then do it again!


Then the inevitable happened as my body just seemed to say a BIG FAT 'NO', leading to my blog post below:


I literally couldn’t throw a dart and after days of frustration and wasted time I had to step away.

Now hindsight is a wonderful thing, however if we skip back to the end of year 2 as this is where it ultimately went wrong.

I should have looked at my progress and tried to make small tweaks and improvements. In 2 years my average had gone from 35 3pd to nearly or at 70 p3d (despite all the tinkering), yet I was so set on achieving something unobtainable for me (i.e. hitting 100 + every 3 darts)  at that point that I had lost sight of what I had and was achieving, pushed way too hard and ultimately I broke it!

I didn’t see any positives just a lack of achievement!

So what did that cost me?

Well, 2 years of additional progress, some fun times, wasted money on darts purchases and possibly some tournament progress.

So the morale of the story is simple at the positives and to see the achievement, and look at what you have done well and what you’re going to do well, rather than what you haven’t!

I hope this helps you

Luke





Darts Champions, Past & Present: My Interviews


Hi Guys

Please see my link to interviews with darting champions of the past and present:

Stephen Bunting
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/my-stephen-bunting-q-23914.html

Andy Fordham
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/andy-fordham-q-september-2014.html

Scott Mitchell
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/interview-with-2015-bdo-world-champion.html

John Part
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/interview-with-3x-world-champion.html

Keith Deller
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/my-interview-with-legend-and-1983-world.html

John Lowe
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/the-big-one-my-interview-with-3x-world.html

Bob Anderson
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/q-with-legendary-bob-anderson.html

Steve Beaton
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/my-interview-with-legend-and-former.html

Glen Durrant
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/interview-with-2018-bdo-world-champion.html

Alan Warriner-Little
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/interview-with-2001-pdc-grand-prix.html

Dennis Priestley
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/interview-with-legend-dennis-menace.html

Tony O'Shea
http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/my-interview-with-bdo-legend-silverback.html








My Darting Life: Chapters 1-13, the story so far!


Hi Guys

Ar request, and to make it easier i have put a link below to chapters 1 to 13.

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-1-getting.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-2-getting.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-3-oh-my.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-4-my-first.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-5.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-6-my-first.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-7-my.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-8-first.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-9-my-first.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-10-pro.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-11-playing.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-12-day-i.html

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-13-my-own.html

Take care

Luke

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Hitting a 180 in darts: Appreciate it!


Hi Guys

Just hit another 180 last night.



Now, the reason why i am showing these is that this blog is aimed primarily at the 'pub level' or aspiring player and to show that with practice it will come, regardless of the darts you are using.

Here as in a few other pics (posted recently) i am using a set of 99p brass 12g soft-tips with brass conversion points, red dragon aluminium stems and some cheap 75 micron flights.  This setup cost me about £4.00 in total (£2 of that on the conversion points). You don't need a set of £100 'player' darts to be good or become good at darts.  This is a lesson i learned the hard-way and hopefully will save you some money.

Now it may seem unusual to post when one is hit, considering the amount you see on televised matches  however i am not a prodigious talent, started when i was 7, 'elite' or 'world class', and/or practicing for hours a day.

When i first started (aged 32 or so) it took about 2 months to hit one (boy did i try):

http://mydartinglife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/how-i-got-into-darts-chapter-3-oh-my.html

and then it took a further month to hit number 2, and then i hit probably 1 or 2 maybe a month (if i was lucky).

Now i can hit one a practice session.

It is actually a very hard thing to do (certainly regularly) and i have known pub players who have played for years and never hit one (practice or play).

In-fact in the league i played in i only saw 1 hit in 2 years (league standards of course vary)

I therefore appreciate every one i hit.

Now if i can progress to a higher level and start hitting 5+ a practice session i wont be posting them (maybe the really good ones), however by that point i would ideally be playing tournaments and updating you on how the journey is going.

Take care

Luke







Wednesday, 11 October 2017

World Watch: Andy Baetens, The Belgium darts ace!


Hi Guys

I have had alot of views and feedback from Belgium darts so i thought i would focus on a player who maybe gets somewhat overlooked due to the success of the Huybrechts brothers in the PDC  and the highflying Geert de Vos!

That player is Andy Baetens.




Baetens has had a terrific 2017, rising to 14 in the BDO rankings (and 3rd in WDF rankings), winning the England Masters, Belgium Masters and Romanian Classic  and.....................qualifying for his first BDO World Championship

Check out Baetens in action:

https://youtu.be/aooj9wvoJ7A?t=1


Luke

2 of the Greatest and smoothest darts players of all time: Hankey Vs Barney: BDO WC 2001


Hi Guys

Check out 2 of the smoothest throws and greatest darts players of all time

'The Count' Ted Hankey vs Raymond Van Barneveld from the BDO 2001 World Championship quarter finals:

https://youtu.be/bXQxm4QVCLI?t=6


Monday, 9 October 2017

09/10/2017: 180!!!! Brass is class

The 180s just keep coming!


World Watch: Krzysztof Ratajski


Hi Guys

I am conscious I haven’t done one for a while, and what better way to break the duct, than saying a BIG 

“WELL DONE"

To the winner of prestigious BDO 2017 World Masters:

Krzysztof Ratajski



He didn’t do it easy though, beating 2x winner and current World Champion Glen Durrant in the quarter finals, 2017 Scottish open winner (the in-form) Cameron Menzies in the semi final and current BDO number 1 and 2017 Dutch Open winner Mark McGeeney in the final.

Ratajski Should be proud as he has become only the 3rd non British player (behind Barney x 2 and MVG) to lift the trophy in its 37 year history.

2017 has been a hot year for the Polands number 1 player, reaching the last 16 of the World Championships and having also won the Polish Open , and winning 17 PDC Euro Tour Eastern Qualifiers.


Look for Ratajski to build on this success and don’t rule out a good run in the Worlds and maybe even a future crack at the PDC top 32!


08/10/2017: 180 with the 12g brass!!


Hi Guys

Picked these 99p again for a quick throw and .....................180!!!!




These darts are insane. I've hit more 180's with these than any other dart i've owned.

It doesn't matter what the setup is. Here i was using Red Dragon aluminium stems and 75micron flights and they'e perfect, yet ive used short nylons and pears, kites, BIG wing, dmx, sigma the lot and they all fly exactly the same!!!

Luke