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.  - 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


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


Darts Champions, Past & Present: My Interviews

Hi Guys

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

Stephen Bunting

Andy Fordham

Scott Mitchell

John Part

Keith Deller

John Lowe

Bob Anderson

Steve Beaton

Glen Durrant

Alan Warriner-Little

Dennis Priestley

Tony O'Shea

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.

Take care


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):

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


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:


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:

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 


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!!!


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Interview with 2015 BDO World Champion Scott Mitchell

Hi Guys

It is my great honor and Privilege to bring you my interview with the 2015 BDO World Champion, Scott Mitchell:

Q1: Who were your darting inspirations when growing up and did you come up through the pub scene?

SM: My darting inspirations were and still are the 2 Bobby’s, Bobby George and Bob Anderson, both who I can now call friends having worked and spent time with them over the last couple of years. I started to play darts at the age of 16 in my local pub so yes I very much started in the local pub scene.

Q2: What were your first set of darts and how have your darts (shape, weight etc) evolved since you started?

SM: My first darts were MY darts from Woolworths, think they weighed about 16g!! My darts now aren't that much different to the MY ones, just a bit heavier at 24g and with a bit more grip on the back of them where I hold it....oh and they are now black and pink of course!! Available from all good Winmau stockists....

Q3: You broke through in around 2007. With your first BIG documented success being the 2009 England Classic. What was the catalyst that pushed you forward to the this level?

SM: The thing that pushed me forward to the first ranking title was actually losing one in Sweden in 2008! It gave me the belief that I was good enough to win the bigger tournaments.. so my first win was in Feb 2009 with the England Classic

Q4: 2014 was an incredible year for you, amassing 7 documented Open wins and capping it with the Worlds 2015 beating 3x world champion, the legend that is Martin Adams. Did you change anything to kick-start this form or was it finally everything just coming together?

SM: I sought the help of mind coach that was already working with the likes of Darryl Fitton and Tony Oshea. Stephen Mckibben was amazing, working with me on my weaknesses.. you have to be prepared to be totally honest with him about how you play and your worries etc..also you have to be prepared to put the work in to it  and listen to the recordings properly so that your mental strength improves.

Q5: The PDC vs BDO is a debate for another forum.  You have remained loyal to the BDO, other than the Worlds what’s is your favourite tournament or open? 

SM: Other than the worlds, my favourite tournament is the Dutch open in February of each year..over 3k men start in the singles comp playing of over 2 days..the Dutch people are such big darts fans! And very welcoming. I will never forget my first Dutch open, it was mind blowing and always run exceptional well!

Q6: Although still a young man, you have achieved success in darts at what is considered a comparatively older age for nowadays (e.g. over 40)  have you found age has affected any aspect of your game or practice?

SM: With age comes experience!.. Now the children are young adults there’s not so much demand my time as a dad and they understand if I'm not around as much and of course why I'm not.. I'm more able to see the bigger picture now and see the positives in games even when I lose.

Q7: Balancing a full-time job with a family and a secondary interest (darts), along with your sporting interests can’t be easy, how do you find time to fit it all in?

SM: No it’s not easy.. it helps to have a very understanding wife for a start!!, for me work starts to slow down in the winter, being self employed gives me the freedom to plan my weeks to suit the seasons, so summer is more work and winter is more darts practise, which thankfully suits the business endow the darting year.

Q8: The pink and black are distinctive colour's, is their a story behind it or is it just personal preference?

SM: Used to play and manage a local football team in Bransgore. When I had my first tv break at the uk open in 2007, Io got my first sponsor so decided to give up the footie and concentrate on the footie team bought me my first proper black and pink dart shirt as I used to wear pink cycle shorts under my footie kit!, it seemed to work!

Q9: You achieved the champion. Something only a small number will ever achieve. Obviously words wont do it justice, but what was going through your mind as you hit that final. Adams has of course won it 3x and a BDO legend!

SM: Lol..well it was something like..this is a chance of a lifetime-- don't do anything silly with the first dart-throw it high and get the range then hit it with the next one..which is what happened.. then I just couldn't believe I had done it!

Q10: Any advice for 'pub' local league players who are trying to breakout into a higher level of BDO competition?

SM: My advice would be .. take the good games with the bad, always look for a positive in each game. Don't give up on your dreams. It won't always be easy but you have to believe!

I would just like to take the opportunity to thank Scott for this interview and his lovely wife Sharon who arranged.