Tuesday, 31 January 2017

You don't have be Phil Taylor or Michael Van Gerwen to be good at darts!

Hi Guys

I just wanted to touch on something that I think is important and not just in darts but any sport and life itself.

There is sometimes an unrealistic expectation in sports (and life) due to watching television and seeing the elite do their best (or the rich, what they have) and when this isn’t replicated in your own performance (and life) it’s easy to think “I’m not very good” or “I don’t have/can’t do that” however the reality is that when you watch darts on television 90% of the time you are watching the world’s elite i.e. the top players in the world.

To put this into perspective when watching a Michael Van Gerwen play, you are watching the number 1 player in the world. Now the planet currently has a population of 7.5 billion, okay fair play a HUGE majority won’t be playing darts and there is probably some little fella in some small village who can hit 1000 consecutive 180’s whilst hopping on one foot, blindfolded and juggling flaming chainsaws however it is unlikely that we’ll ever see him.

Let’s look at the combined BDO and PDC World Championships. There have been a combined 64 world Championship finals, won by only 28 different players. Now consider how many thousands of players there are worldwide??

It is therefore completely ridiculous (in my opinion) to judge the average pub standard (and your own standard) against this level and the average pub player doesn’t have a sponsor, practice 5-6-7 hours a day and earn their sole income from darts.  I’d argue that 99% of lower league pub teams aren’t sporting players with 105 averages, and who hit 10-11 dart legs, so when a player averages 40-45 this shouldn’t be considered poor or that they are not a good player!

There are plenty of players who are the Taylor’s of their pub and league who probably average 50-55 (p3d) and yet are considered ‘great’ players, and they should be (for that league level). Does it make any of their wins, performances and trophies any less important or special because they weren’t live on satellite television and winning £250,000, of course not!

Darts is there to be enjoyed by all, and if you don’t attain elite status then it shouldn’t make it any less enjoyable, as very few ever have!

So the morale of this story is that you don’t have to be Phil Taylor or Michael Van Gerwen to be considered good at darts, have a place in darts and to enjoy the sport!

Take Care


The Als Bar 'B'' Team

Hi Guys

The team:

I'm on the far right!

30/1/2017: First league match in 18 months against the 'Jolly Miller'! Alot of positives to be had!

Hi Guys

It was my first night back for Al's Bar 'B' last night against the 'Jolly Miller'.

Firstly i must say my old team mates were very welcoming back which was great and there has been abit of a change in the last 18 months with some new players added who are of better standard which is good.

Before the match we had the usual warm-up games and i won both my doubles (taking out D10) and singles taking out the Captain with D4.

Then it was onto the League matches itself. I was in mixed doubles and on reflection this was a good thing to ease back.

We lost the first leg in a close affair when they took out D20, before i hit some good scores and my partner took out D2 to take the second leg. It was then the decider. I won the bull and again hit some decent scores however i wired 3 at d16 and they took out d5.

Unfortunately the team lost a close affair 5-4 in total which i'm told is the same scoreline its been the last 8.

I must admit that i felt disappointed on the way home however on reflection what did i expect?? I had only practiced darts for a couple of hours a week for the last few weeks as i try and recover from major shoulder issues and here i was jumping into competitive league play after 18 months!

There were alot of positives here:

1. I won 2 'inter-pub' matches prior to the League match.
2. I hit 2 100 + scores (100 and 123)
3. I hit some other high scores of 60,75,85 and 95
4. Despite being out of darts for 18 months i had darts at the double to win (against players playing regularly)
5. I only hit a couple of sub 45 scores.

For the standard of League 3, my performance wasn't bad at all considering doubles isn't my forte. I hit some good scores and  had darts to win the match, if this was my first match when i started i'd have been thrilled.

This is where perspective is needed. This wasn't a PDC or BDO match on television, between players in the top 16! At this level no one is hitting 9 darters, hitting 11 and 12 dart legs and averaging 105! This is pub darts and the standard should be judged in its own right, and it was a good performance by our team with score good scores!

Anyway it felt good to be back, and i am only going to improve with regular competitive play.

Take Care


Monday, 30 January 2017

30/01/2017: Have rejoined old darts team and in action tonight against the Jolly Miller!

Hi Guys

I have taken the plunge and decided to return to pub league play.

I have re-joined my old team Al's bar 'B'

I will be diving straight back in and will be in action tonight (30/1/17) against the 'Jolly Miller' whom i don't think i've played before.

My shoulder rehab has been going well and i'm confident that i'm going to make some noise!

The season is already midway through and Al's Bar 'B' find themselves 3rd with Jolly Miller second so there's everything to play for.

It will be good to be back playing in the Fareham Darts League again!

I look forward to reporting how we get on


Monday, 16 January 2017

Darts: Don't worry about how it looks!............Hit the target!

Hi Guys

A lot gets made of having the ‘perfect’ throw and throwing fundamentals however for me the important thing is to be natural and effective.

Watching Glen Durrant win the worlds is another example. There is a lot of movement before release on Glen’s throw as he moves the dart down from eye line and yet he is a heavy scorer and has cleaned up in the BDO in 2016.
Mensur Suljovic has become number 9 in the world at the PDC and he leans, snatches and almost hops on his throw.

Richie Burnett won the BDO Masters and Worlds as well as being a top PDC player with a snatch.
The Legendary

Jocky Wilson defied all laws of physics and yet won the World title twice.

The list is endless, and proves that you don’t have to have a John Lowe’esque technique to succeed.
For me the most important thing is to get it where you want it to go. If that means standing on one foot whilst waving your other hand, then so be it.

I think it’s more important to hone your natural throw regardless of how it is, than change to something completely unnatural just for aesthetics!  Really as long as you get it in the Treble and double does it matter?

Now I’m not saying don’t correct faults, just don’t try and change everything about everything. Minor tweaks are all that’s needed!

I for one lost a lot of time trying to be perfect by doing something that didn’t feel right. The best I ever played was after a few drinks when it just came natural and flowed. No imitation, no thinking about it, just throwing at the target.

Practice is the most important thing. If you practice 3-4x a week for 1 hour + your game at pub level is going to be in pretty good shape.

You will probably never see more examples of ‘interesting’ techniques than on Monday pub night in the lower leagues, and this is why I love this type of darts. This is darts at the grass roots level. In effect where it all began.  There is no razzmatazz, players aren’t worried about their averages, very few enter other comps other than the leagues own, and most don’t watch it on television.

For a lot of the ‘old’ guard they play because it because they always have. It’s a game they play with their friends over a pint (and formerly a cigarette) and is part of the tradition. It is a beautiful thing and one of the last great pub institutions.

It is a game for everyone. This can range from 85 year old Grandma’s, to chronically obese giants in bad t-shirts throwing what looks like brass javelins, with everything in between!

One character that sticks out for me was a little fellow (who shall remain nameless), who looked like Danny DeVito, complete with badly receding hair, ponytail, draped in gold and sporting a beer stained Bullseye shirt probably from the 80’s

At least 60 and clutching a pint of which he’d clearly had several already, in many ways he was everything a non darts fan pictured a darts player to look like, and in many ways he did look like he had just stepped out of 1981.

Curious I watched ‘Danny’ (as I’ll call him) pull 3 darts from his pocket and boy oh boy what a sight. These looked like 1950 brass tank shells complete with turkey feather flights (of which there was only 1 left on each dart). I would hazard a guess that these were different weights, and probably in the 30g+ range.

Clearly the guy hadn’t changed his setup, ever!

Considering that the majority were throwing some form of ‘tungsten’ it would have been easy to dismiss ‘Danny’ however what unfolded was a different story.

The style was unbelievable!!!

Standing face on and bolt upright, and with a technique that could only be described as a wound up jerky lob, with a five fingered grip (like he was holding a knife) complete with last minute hop on release the guy defied aerodynamics and the laws of physics and yet his darts consistently hit the T20 and he was checking out in the 80’s!!!

I watched him whitewash a player with a far classier throw and setup as he ran out a 2-0 winner and his fallen foe duly shook his hand and trudged off.

My interest peaked I enquired about ‘Danny’ and was told that he’d been using the same darts since the 60’s and has always played that way!!

So if you don’t have a perfect looking throw, don’t worry, as long as you train it to be effective it’s all good.

How my work out to rehab my shoulder is going!

Hi Guys

I just wanted to give an update on my shoulder issues and how my workout routine is going from my blog post below:

Well i haven't thrown a dart properly in 2017 yet however i do feel that my exercises and workouts are going well and i have dropped some body mass which had really taken the pressure off my back, and hips.

My shoulder is actually starting to give me less daily grief and my overall movement and flexibility is much improved.

I have added 2 more exercises after exercise 8 so my routine now looks like this:

  1. Light deadlifts: 180lbs
  2. Squats: 180 lbs
  3. Bench Press: 120 lbs
  4. Lat Pulldowns 120 lbs
  5. Standing Good Mornings 60 lbs
  6. Barbell Curl 60 lbs
  7. Tricep pushdown 60 lbs
  8. Behind Neck Barbell press 60 lbs
  9. Front dumbell Raise 8 - 10lbs
  10. Side Dumbell Raise 8 - 10lbs
  11. Lunges 30 lbs
  12. Incline crunches (work way up to 100)
  13. Side bends (with dumbbell) 60 lbs
  14. Laying bench side leg raises
Im hoping that in the next few days i'll be able to pick a dart up and throw without issue!

I'll keep you posted


A fantastic BDO 2017 World Championship comes to an end! Channel 4 and everyone involved has alot to be proud of!

Hi Guys

I thought the BDO World Championship 2017 has been fantastic this year.

The event had it all, the BDO veterans doing well, shock upsets, a first time Lakesider getting to the final, epic comebacks and a deserving winner!

You couldn't ask for more and whilst i did enjoy the PDC world championship this year, especially the epic Barney vs MVG and the final with MVG vs Gary Anderson, i found myself more into the BDO final, maybe because of the different players on show, the new coverage by Channel 4 and also the respectfulness of the crowd (when 9 darters are narrowly missed the BDO crowd applaud the attempt, the PDC crowd boo!)

I think all involved have alot to be proud of and despite a few technical issues Channel 4's coverage in my opinion was excellent, and i hope the ratings reflect this as i think darts SHOULD be on terrestrial television.

It was great to see Wolfie, despite his recent health issues make the Quarter Finals and engage in an absolute thriller with Jamie Hughes and has Fitton ever played better at the Worlds??

Im also pleased that long-time BDO loyalist (from virtually day 1) Bobby George has still been given his rightful place on BDO coverage as it wouldn't be the same without him!

So lets look forward to BDO darts in 2017 and i hope Channel 4 pick up some other BDO events!

Take care


BIG Well Done to Glen Duzza Durrant, the new 2017 BDO World Champion

Hi Guys

Just wanted to say a HUGE WELL DONE to Glen Duzza Durrant who lifted the 2017 BDO World Championship yesterday, Sunday 15th January 2017!

It has been a terrific year for Durrant, my pick to win it as he amassed 11 trophies in 2016 including the World Masters and Zuiderduin Masters!

Durrant has been 'the man' in the BDO the last 2 years and again showed that age is no barrier, coming into his own in his 40's and winning the title against an opponent 20 years his junior.

I hope Durrant stays in the BDO rather than move to the PDC as it would be nice for Durrant to cement his legacy further!

Special mention must also go to his opponent Danny Noppert who was making his lakeside debut, made the final and was the player of the tournament for me. The Dutch lad as a HUGE future in the game!


Friday, 13 January 2017

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 11: Playing Eric Bristow!

How I Got Into Darts: Playing Eric Bristow!

On Friday the 8th of August 2014  I went to an exhibition with the great Eric Bristow in Hayling Island.

On this occasion I didn’t get a chance to have a picture done or even chat with the guy however  did get to speak  to MC Paul Booth and they’d been in Blackpool the night before and had made the 300+ mile, 5 hour trip that day down to the South Coast

Now this is one of the reasons I love darts, the accessibility. Very few sports fans will get to play with an icon like David Beckham in football, Tyson in boxing or Sampras in tennis and yet darts offers this opportunity.

II was going to have the opportunity to play one of the greatest darts players of all time (arguably number 2 after Phil Taylor). 

The list of achievements is incredible:

Bristow played 10 people and won 9 (lost the first as was warming up), before the intermission.

There was a quick Q and A session (less than 10 minutes)   from Eric before he re-started which I didn’t think was long enough (but was a necessity as it was now gone 10pm), where Booth asked him a few questions.This involved him commenting on various dart players and experiences.

I was up at about 11pm, and worse still was completely sober having driven.

It couldn’t get off to a worse start for me before I got to call.  I couldn’t find my third dart (it had rolled off the table) and then my flights fell out walking up.

Eventually I was ready and hear I was playing an icon and legend of darts.

I got off to a good start and outscored Eric and hit 86, 100, 95 in succession to land me on double 13 to finish.
I missed 9 darts at the double to finish as he took out D1

Nerves cost me!  Each dart was right on the wire, but it just wasn’t to be. Bristow muttered “should have won that” as I walked past.  Bristow only lost once that night out of 16 and to win would have been amazing!

I’m not delusional though, this wasn’t the Eric Bristow of the 1980’s. That Bristow would have wiped the floor with me and checked out in under 13 darts however it was such an honor to share an oche with the legend and to have had darts to win the match!

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 10: A Pro filled Open!

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 10: A Pro Filled Open

On Saturday 26th July 2014  I decided to go to my second PDS event (the first being the January 2014 debacle), in Fareham (about 10 minutes away from my house).

It was an ‘open’ and my 2 oldest stepsons decided to come along for support.

I expected the quality to be high as there was decent (£400) prize money however upon driving up to the venue (The Fareham pub, conveniently in Fareham) it became obvious that this was clearly the ‘summer’ event locally of the year.

I have to admit that It was a little daunting entering the packed venue however when we got in it  became blatantly obvious that this had more in common with a pro dart tour event that your usual pub tournament.

The place was filled with pro’s or semi pro’s. You had:

Dennis Smith (PDC no 51)
Andy Jenkins (PDC no 53)
Arron Monk (PDC 44)
Johnny Haines (PDC 58)
Sam Head (BDO no 44)
Paul Hogan (BDO no 98)
Gary Stafford (BDO 27)
Mike Gillet (BDO 113)

Smith, Jenkins and Monk had all appeared at major television events and reached respectable stages in the world championships and other majors and the BDO players had all played in major BDO events (both home and abroad). 
This was not to mention the whole host of local stars, super-league and county players who were in attendance. Clearly this was not an event that a novice would think about entering!

Luckily Danny Smith who I’d known for about 10 years and whom I used to drink with his uncle was there. He is a cracking player, has been to BDO events and is one of the best in the area and well known and well respected. One giant hug from him and a regaling of an ex drinking adventure we had had later and any nerves were gone. It was almost like an acceptance as everyone the just assumed that I was a ‘darts player’ and must have been of some standard to be there.  I mean a novice wouldn’t dream of going to such an event would they?

I was feeling pretty good until I looked around and suddenly realised that there were no digital scorers up and it was ‘old school’ chalking. My heart then sank, and it felt like I had been punched in the stomach, and then I was immediately called to chalk a game, and not just for anyone but PDC pro Arron Monk!  Monk is a fast player and I could have vomited as I was rubbish at chalking let alone fast.  This was great, not only was I going to expose myself but I was going to do it on a PDC pro and probably ruin his match, great!

Luckily my fears were soon dispelled when I explained to Monk I was a novice chalker when he came over and the lad was total class and a gentleman. He was cool and said he’d call for both me and his opponent which he did.  Monk won 4-3 and then thanked me kindly for chalking and told me not to worry.

I then had a long wait until my game (3 hours). The venue was packed with well over 100 people, and it was the hottest day of the year. The smell of sweat, beer, and body heat was palpable.  One thing that has to be said is that despite the packed nature of the venue, the incredible heat and the copious amount of alcohol, that there was no aggro and everyone behaved impeccably.

About 3 hours after I chalked I got called to play. My opponent was a lad called Ross who played in the Gosport premier league and was a very good player.

Once again I had drawn a tough opponent in my singles, but at this event there would be no easy games. In short I can safely say that I was probably the most in-experienced player there by a long, long way.!

 If the tournament in January was a nightmare this was going to be insane. That said I wasn’t nervous before the game and to start off I threw a perfect bullseye to start (just like January).

The difference in class though was apparent. I played really well and was hitting 60’s and 80's consistently and the odd 100 and 120 however he was hitting 140’s and a 180 and was finishing when hitting around 150 or under.

I lost 4-0 with an averaging in the 70's!

He was the better player abut I didn’t disgrace myself. I kept up with him he just finished under 150 and I didn’t have the tools to do that.

Next up as the loser I had to chalk for Arron Monk again!!

My heart sank as this poor guy would have to put up with my chalking again. 

Again the guy was class even after an afternoon of sun and lager. He won 4-3 in a real tough one, and at the end I offered to buy him a drink for putting up with me.

The guy was not only gracious but again a gentleman and even declined a drink, gave me a  hug and said  “don’t be silly mate, you did fine, thanks for chalking in the first place”  Nice guy  indeed considering he would have had every right to be irked by me. And I’ll say this now, Monk has come under aggro before for attitude but he was a gentleman and a class act!

The event was eventually won by Mike Gillet beating Monk 5-4 in the final and it was a great day filled with a good atmosphere and great people.

I took a lot away from the event even though I only played one game and lost 4-0.

I was not disappointed at all. Even though I had lost I was in ‘elite’ company, and I went away with the mind-set that you can only get better playing good players!

As the organiser of the event said to me after”

“It takes a lot of bottle to step up and play in that company in the first place”

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 9: My First league wins, a Dead Cat and D1

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 9: My First league wins, a Dead Cat and D1

My first league victories came in a somewhat un-nerving and distracting circumstances. 

I had been driving to Fareham Working Men’s Club (FWMC) when my sat-nav decided to have a funny five minutes and took me on a merry dance as it had some kind of nervous breakdown (“do a u-turn”, and “turnaround if possible” were all offered despite being on main roads with no chance of this being possible) until I had to give up and check my phone. 

It soon became apparent that my sat-nav is ‘insane’ and I was about 3 miles from where I needed to be.  I resumed my journey and eventually found myself  going through a series of blocked off roads before I came across a traffic jam of sorts and several people standing around. 

Initially I thought it was an accident however it turned out that a poor black cat had been hit by a car and was laying there in the road dying and in a bad way. I won’t go into a graphic description but it was bad. 

Now as a cat lover I couldn’t leave this poor moggy to die in pain so I knocked on a few doors to see if I could get someone to give me something so  I could put the poor thing out of its misery.  

Eventually someone answered and I was expecting one of the breeze blocks situated in there driveway however the gentleman re-appeared brandishing a claw hammer and a bin bag. It was all abit ‘Goodfella’s’ for me and as I walked back to the cat I’ll admit that my bottle went abit. It’s one thing to put a thing out of its misery with a brick, it’s another to hit it with a hammer!  

Mercifully the poor thing passed before I could do the deed. By this time we had attracted quite a crowd. I must have looked a sight, standing there in my darts gear holding a claw hammer and bin-liner and standing over a dead cat. I must have looked like a right psycho!

Having held the traffic up for some time a builder had pulled up (you know the type, jeans, vest, covered in tattoo’s, built like a brick shithouse, skinhead and…………..utterly sympathetic to household pets) and we agreed that we couldn’t just leave the poor thing to lay there in the road so we decided to put it in the bin-liner. He was a braver man than me, the cat was soiling itself now at this point however he scooped it up (the sight will haunt me for years) by its front paws and lowered it into the bin-liner. 

Unfortunately the cat wasn’t exactly solid at this point and I got covered in blood. Luckily Mr claw-hammer let me wash off whilst the builder deposited the cat next to a tree and set off to report it. I then resumed my journey to the FWMC.

As you can imagine this wasn’t ideal preparation for my match and I arrived late at the venue. 

My first match was a doubles, as based on my performance in the doubles cup a few weeks earlier the Captain thought it would be good to continue the momentum.  I got off to a blinder and took out the first leg with d11 however I tweaked my back in leg 2 and my performance dipped and therefore I had to rely on my partner to take out the double for a 2-1 win.

My second match of the night was my league singles debut against a guy called ‘Rocket’ Ron. Ron looked like a good player who had been playing a long time.  His practice was consistent and he had the composure of a man whom had done this for years. 

It wasn’t a great scoring game by any standards!

In the first leg I was averaging around 50 but couldn’t take out the double to go 1-0 down.

I came back in the second leg with some high scoring and took out 56 with an unorthodox 3,13, D20 after I somehow hit 3 instead of 16.

The decider was a tight affair again close, he took the bull to start and with both of us nervy we ended up on D1

Neither of us could hit D1 in about 30 darts until I eventually hit it to finish up. And take my first league singles victory!

You never forget your first competitive singles win!

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 8: First League Cup Final: June 2014

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 8: First League Cup Final: June 2014

I was yet to make my competitive league debut, however I was at this point hitting a good run of form and was probably the second best player in the pub now. I had been putting some serious time in on the practice board and my confidence was at an all-time high.

I had been watching a lot of Dennis Priestley on Youtube and went to an exhibition of his which inspired me to buy a set of 19g Priestley darts.

It was the Fareham darts league mixed doubles summer cup of 2014, held at the Duke of Connaught pub.

All of the teams were there from leagues 1 and 2 which contained some County players and some BDO players (including Gary Stafford), so it was good company.

I was partnered with a girl called Natalie Seymour whom I’d never met (and wouldn’t do again) before and this night I would be debuting the Priestley’s with virtually no practice time.

It would soon become an amazing ride:

First match: I played dreadful, missing doubles and erratic. I was lucky my partner was on good form as she took out both doubles to win the leg 2-1.

Quarter Final: I was a lot more relaxed and really hit my stride and I even started giving it large as my T19 cover shots where hitting the mark constantly and we won 2-0 with me taking out both doubles.

Semi Final: This was a tight one as we were up against quality opposition.  My scoring was fantastic here, and I took out D16 to go 1-0. They leveled at 1-1 in a tight one before we through at bull for the decider. They took it and got off to a good start however I hit a 100 and 2 140’s to break their heart and I took out the D16 again to win 2-1.

Final:  Unfortunately it was very late now (gone 23:30) and 2 hours since our last match and my partner was knackered (as was I). No excuses, we played piss poor and lost 3-0 to a league 1 pair who played very well and fully deserved the win.

It was a great performance though for the night considering the quality of players at the tournament and to make my first final was a tremendous feeling.

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 7: My Second Team!

How I Got Into Darts: Chapter 7: My Second Team!

I was keen to put my bad experiences of my first pub team behind me and though I’m sure it irked my wife, I put in a lot of time on the practice board.

I’d bought a set of Andy Fordham 23g Viking Raiders (original model) and had a very purple patch in all my practice sessions. It went so well in-fact that I decided to join another team.

Now I had realised that I couldn’t join a league 1 or top league 2 team as I wouldn’t get a match very often and I would probably end up practice fodder which at this point would do me no good! I therefore needed to join a team with mixed abilities.

I therefore elected to join the team that I should have in the beginning. The Al’s Bar 'B' team were a friendly bunch (I met them when I was with the Seagull) and though the pub was further away they seemed a more family orientated bunch.

A quick phone call to the pub later and I had the captains number and within a few days I was asked to come along for a throw as the season was now over (for the record the Seagull did get promoted undefeated),

Now it’s always hard to go somewhere you’re not familiar with to meet people you don’t know, however this has never bothered me and I turned up and instantly felt welcomed in. 

They gave me a trial match against the Captain and it just clicked for me. I hit a 140 to start and totally dominated the match, checking out whilst still leaving them on over 200. Their words after “you’re in, you’re playing next week”. 

I was then asked if I wanted to hang around and play in their pre-summer 2014 tournament they ran ahead of the new season. I hadn’t planned on staying long however sometimes impromptu is best and doesn’t give you time to think so I paid in and had a go.

My first match was against the captain and I won 2-1. It was a hard match but my doubles were the key

In my second match I was in with their no 2 player. I had watched him when he played the seagull and he was really good. I won 2-0.

In the final I played their number 1 player and incredibly got off to a scorcher taking the first 2 legs. Unfortunately I made an error, like the previous rounds I thought it was best of 3 but it was best of 5. I’d thought I’d won and got that adrenalin hit but was then told I needed one more leg. This utterly deflated me and my momentum was gone. 

I managed to get on a good finish for leg 3 however I played a percentage shot to leave 32 (think Deller vs Bristow ) with my opponent on 77 however he took it out and from then on I’d get on a finish but my finishing deserted me. I lost 2-3 however I think the pressure along with the deflation got to me.

The important thing to me though was that I had proved something to both myself and my new teammates. On the way home I was exhausted.  The mental aspect of the game is so important and yet what’s unexpectedly exhausting. I was buzzing though when I got home. Finally after the January tournament thumping and the February pub farce where I was made to feel that I wasn’t good enough and considered jacking in I had played competitive darts (not just random pub guys, family) and proved to myself that I was indeed improving as a player and had the makings of a decent (at this point) pub player.

This time it was right time and right fit!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

How I Got into Darts: Chapter 6: My First Team - and it doesn't go well!

How I Got into Darts: Chapter 6: My First Team - and it doesn't go well!

Like with anything in my life I have a ‘dive straight in’ nature and go at everything a million miles per hour, and sometimes it can lead to making mistakes. 

Whats it they say? you have to  learn to walk  before you can run??, with me it shouldn't have been learn to crawl before you enter the 100m sprint! 

My first darts tournament should have taught me a lesson about my lack of readiness for competitive darts however it hadn’t and despite only having been playing for a few months, an average around about 40 (per 3 darts) and constantly changing my setup I elected to join a team down the road from me.

It was January 2014 and the darts league mid-season and I should have waited, practised and got better. I didn’t though and elected to dive in with the team who were currently undefeated and top of league in division 2.

The pub was called the Seagull and these guys took their darts seriously. Very seriously! I was given a few trial matches and incredibly I won all 3 matches, including taking out their top player who was 9-1 that season with double tops. I was elated, however (and I have no idea why) I elected to change darts from 25g Barney’s to 26g Whitlock’s when I should have stayed with what was winning.

I was undoubtedly the architect of my own downfall in many respects and this in some ways is down to my lack of darting guidance. I had a set of darts I was scoring well with and winning with (admittedly for a short space of time) and yet I decided to change (this would become a recurrent theme with me).

Not long after joining, I was unfortunately involved in a small traffic incident whereby when stationary, a woman drove into the back of me, damaging my car and writing hers off.  I sustained whiplash and shoulder issues, which unbeknown to me would affect my darts. 

Initially things started off well and my new team mates were receptive and friendly. The ex –Captain said I was very talented, threw a great dart and had the potential to be ‘very good’. This was from a guy who had been playing for 30+ years and was well respected.  I was beating my fellow darts players regularly and was assured that I would get a run in the singles matches.

Unfortunately things quickly deteriorated and I have to hold my hands up as to why things didn’t work out.  At the time I was convinced that I should be selected for the singles matches, however on reflection this was ego and attitude talking. I was a newbie who had joined an established team that was top of the league, undefeated and winning it without losing a game was their priority. Why would they risk that??

Looking back now I was nowhere near ready, and was changing darts weekly, which to my teammates probably caused concern as it effected my performance and I hadn’t yet established my alcohol to performance ratio (e.g. how much is too much).

I guess they were too nice to be patronising and guide me (which is what I probably needed) and the problem is you don’t know what you don’t know, and I didn’t know a lot!

It was only 4 or 5 weeks in when I in-effect sealed my fate and eventual departure from the team. It was a mid-week cup match and I text the Captain and asked if I was definitely needed that night as I was at work and this would involve a 60 mile round trip for me. I was told definitely yes and then made the trip. Upon arrival I was told that I wasn’t needed as someone (who I hadn’t seen in the last few weeks) had turned up.  I was then unceremoniously dropped to doubles again. I will admit I was livid and I copped the needle and let my thoughts be known very publicly. I was then given a lesson on darts etiquette where basically the ex -captain (and founder of the team) said it was outrageous that I had ‘demanded’ to be played, that no one is guaranteed a match and that in 30 years he’d never heard anything like it.  

Ok, I will admit I made a bad decision here to get annoyed, I wasn’t ready for singles competitions and should have bided my time however I felt ‘wronged’, not that I hadn’t played but that I had been given a wasted journey and dropped for someone who turned up sporadically and I don’t/didn’t have the personality for letting that ‘go’.

I have to admit that they would have been within their rights to ask me not to come back, as they’d only known me a few weeks however they didn’t, although the relationship was never the same after.

Well, after that I continued to play in their doubles however my attitude wasn’t the best and I was continually switching darts and after I overheard a conversation between the captain and a player about my standing in the team, I made my mind up. 

We sat down and had a discussion and though they were happy for me to stay and learn which was nice of them, I thought I was better than what I was and wanted/needed to play regularly which I wasn’t going to get (at least that season). 

I left on good terms however internally i was left fuming and was unhappy as in my opinion I had been wronged which wasn’t the case. 

The lesson learned here is that in darts you can’t expect anything to be handed to you, especially when joining a completely new bunch of people and that kicking off isn’t the way to go, certainly not publicly, and without the darting ability to match the argument behind it.  

It was probably a case of wrong time and wrong fit, but I’ll put my hands up on this one!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Planet darts: Buy This Book Now!

Hi Guys

You have to read this book:

Published in 2003 it charts a year in the life of a then upcoming darts player you may be familiar with. Yes 2 x PDC Major winner and former world number 1 Colin ‘Jaws’ Lloyd.
This book is hilarious at times and in no way attempts to gloss over the struggles, lack of money and the characters on the circuit.

This is in no way a “I kept hitting 180 and beat everyone’ story, and provides a great insight into behind the scenes at PDC events.

Buy it you won’t regret it


Q & A with the Legendary Bob Anderson

Hi Guys

the legendary Bob Anderson  who i covered in blog post:

agreed to answer a few questions for me:

Q1: I think that past Major winners should receive invites to BIG tournaments as there is still a massive audience for darting legends, do you agree?


Q2: Having met Bob at an event in Winchester in 2015 he came across as a terrific bloke and full of energy and still playing incredible darts. Does Bob feel that he could still compete today in BDO or PDC if given the opportunity?


Q3: It is understood that Bob was an Olympic level javelin athlete and ex footballer so obviously a natural sportsman, and with incredible longevity (2 world semi finals in late fifties).  Does/did Bob follow any exercise routine to stay in shape for darts?


Q4: How often does Bob practice these days?


Q5: It is often overlooked that Bob won 3 consecutive World Masters in 86, 87 and 88. There was an incredible 2-3 year period where Bob was the best in the world. Memories of winning those.


I just wanted to say a BIG thank you to Bob for taking the time to answer these questions and i would like to recommend that everyone who gets the chance check Bob out in exhibitions and his website:

Hope you all enjoy


Monday, 9 January 2017

08/01/2017: Wolfie does it again! – What a Guy!

Hi Guys

I have to give a massive shout out to Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams who gave an amazing come from behind performance to overcome ‘Relentless ‘  Ryan Joyce in a thriller to advance to the second round in the BDO World Championship!

Given Wolfie’s recent health issues this has made the result even more amazing!

Martin Adams is irrefutable proof that age is no boundary. He won his world championships in his 50’s, and continues to be a major force in BDO darts!

I hope he’s still up there at 70 as the guy is and has been one of the most underrated players in darts history. 12 Majors and 67 (inc winning the British pentathlon 9x) opens says it all


BDO for Life

Hi Guys

I must say that I was thrilled that Channel 4 picked up the BDO after BBC unceremoniously dumped it after 35 years (not that they invested in it anyway) and overall I have been impressed so far, barring a few technical glitches.

Now don’t get me wrong the PDC is fantastic at what it does, and yes the 2017 championship was amazing and the standard sublime however barring a few surprises (Reyes incredible effort against MVG) it was a tournament that once again featured the same faces as will the premier League and next ‘x’ amount of PDC events! 

The PDC has really become about the top 16 and really a battle between the top 6.  Now this absolutely takes nothing away from any of these players or their achievements however how many times can you watch the same player’s week in week out before it becomes repetitive (no matter how good the matches are).

I love to watch the BDO because it is:

  •            Closer to my level (heck some BDO players used to play in my old league)
  •          You see different players and get variety
There seems to be a miss apprehension that you have to have 100ave and 9-11 dart legs to be exciting and good darts!

I have watched matches where the average was 80 and are full of excitement and drama and at no point did I think “I wish the average in this match was 10-15 points more”

Sometimes I think that averages are used to promote the level of the PDC and the standard to accentuate the elitist nature however the PDC and producers are VERY clever. When the average is below say 90 you rarely ever see it get listed on TV it is all smoke and mirrors designed for product image which to me takes away from the legit sport element of it (if this was a track and field event, they wouldn’t black out the times or distance of the athletes who didn’t finished top 3-4 would they??)

I love the BDO and what it stands for. I can pay £5 enter a competition and play. This is what darts WAS all about.  I don’t have to sign contracts, or pay stupid fees etc. If I do well I could face a high ranked player or even a former or current champion. You don’t get that at the PDC!

It makes it more touchable and ‘real’ and I love the fact that the BDO features players from all around the world, and all with different styles and personalities!

Take Care


My new workout routine for darts 2017

Hi Guys

Being in shape has been a big part of my life for 22 years and whilst most people don’t normally associate darts with fitness/working out, darts very much does have an impact on your body. The leaning over, walking back and forth, throwing with one arm only and focusing on one side of the body can all reap havoc on your joints and muscles.

I came into darts with back and shoulder problems however the toll leaning over and throwing has had on me has been significant, particularly my right hip, and right shoulder.  A constant ache in the back, shoulder and hip area is not fun and whilst others have said “change your throwing style/posture” it is just not something I can do and be effective as a player.

So what’s the answer then???

Well you want a workout that isn’t going to negatively affect your playing (i.e lifting heavyweights), but is productive enough to have a positive impact on the body.

I have tried various workouts however I have tweaked and designed one specifically for darts that can be done 2-3 x a week.

Now this isn’t a routine to get you in Mr Olympia shape or Stallone abs however it is designed to give the body a good workout that will positively benefit your darts playing, physical health and longevity in play:

The routine:

Warmup: 10 minutes exercise bike: enough to burn about 125 calories

Main session: All exercises are 1 set of 12 reps (weight done at my level – advise a comfortable weight that allows for 100% perfect form)

  1. Light deadlifts: 180lbs
  2. Squats: 180 lbs
  3. Bench Press: 120 lbs
  4. Lat Pulldowns 120 lbs
  5. Standing Good Mornings 60 lbs
  6. Barbell Curl 60 lbs
  7. Tricep pushdown 60 lbs
  8. Behind Neck Barbell press 60 lbs
  9. Lunges 30 lbs
  10. Incline crunches (work way up to 100)
  11. Side bends (with dumbbell) 60 lbs
  12. Laying bench side leg raises

Optional: 10 minutes exercise bike: enough to burn about 125 calories

Now the key to this is 100% good form. We are not trying to build muscle here or tear muscles down as this will negatively affect your play. This is designed to maintain and strengthen the body, joints and bones (which weaken as we age)

If you have an underlying physical condition or problem always consult your physician first and please don’t go crazy and attack this like ‘World Strongest Man’ the weights I have listed are for example purposes only and what I can do for 12 reps comfortably and I have lifted weights for about 20 years.

Give it a go, it will keep you in good condition without exhausting

Take Care


My 2016 Darts year in Review

Hi everyone

Well, 2016 was the lowest amount of darts that I’ve played in in the last 3 years.

I set some resolutions for 2016:

·                     Improve my chalking - debatable
·                     Stick to 'ONE' set of darts - NO SWAPPING!!!! - No
·                     Win a minor trophy - No
·                     Hit more 180's than 2015 - Achieved
·                     Hit more triple Bulls than 2015 - Achieved
·                     Attend at least 1 exhibition - Achieved
·                     Keep this blog going - Achieved
·                     Play a singles League format - No
·                     enter a small BDO event – No

which I only partially achieved (4 out of 9) achieved, which isn’t too bad given that quitting my old team, and recurrent back and shoulder problems resulted in a lot of frustration, lost progress and downtime.

The problem when it wasn’t my back was the shoulder. I have developed a Jocky Wilson’esque snatch on either first or third dart and this has led to some very inconsistent practice and performance. There have been days whereby I couldn’t stop hitting the t20 and others where I can’t hit the single one.  This has made progress very hard to track and I won’t go back to competitive darts until I am certain that I can play to a minimum standard I am happy with.  

I only got to attend 1 darts event this year, and met both Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams and Raymond Van Barneveld (8 world titles between them) which was great but to be honest it was very light on competition and progress.

I am going to roll over my ambitions form 2016 to 2017 so they will be:

·                     Improve my chalking
·                     Stick to 'ONE' set of darts - NO SWAPPING!!!! -
·                     Win a minor trophy
·                     Hit more 180's than 2015
·                     Hit more triple Bulls than 2015
·                     Attend at least 1 exhibition
·                     Keep this blog going
·                     Play a singles League format
·                     enter a small BDO event

Let’s see how that goes and I will ensure that 2017 is far more productive.

Thanks for viewing