Thursday, January 03, 2008



I've been a bit lazy with this, so for the 2 people who've nagged me to update it, here you go! A brief update of the last few months.

The 2 Irish tournaments didn't go well. On the Saturday I played Jason Clark, as after winning the first leg against the darts, I didn't win 1 after that. Neither of us played too well, and I missed alot of darts at doubles. The next day was a similar story. Again I didn't play well, but missed doubles in each of the first 3 legs cost me again, as I lost 5-0 to Adrian Gray.

On to Scotland, and this started much better. In the first round on Saturday, I played Chris Daglish. I won the match (and £75) 3-0 in sets, without dropping a leg. This continued in the first set of the 2nd round, as again I didn't drop a leg. After this though, I got very sloppy, and Walshie took the next 3 sets to win 3-1. On to the Sunday, and I had drawn American John Kuczynski. I started well, winning the first leg against the throw. I lost the next 2, but won the 4th to make it 2-2. A similar story started to appear though, as in the next 3 legs I missed darts at doubles, and lost the match 5-2.

On my birthday, I went to Wolverhampton for the World Championship qualifiers. I had been playing well, so I hoped to do well, despite a tough draw in No.2 seed Dennis Smith. I got off to the perfect start, with a 180, and won the 1st leg quite comfortably. After this though, I never felt right at all. Alot was said about the venue being poor, and it was freezing in there. I don't know if that had an affect or not, but I never felt comfortable. Both Dennis and me struggled, but he won the match 5-2.

I hadn't thrown a dart after this for 6 weeks, but started practising again after Christmas. It's going ok, so hopefully I can get the year off to a good start next weekend.

Upcoming Tournaments

Sunday 13th January - UK Open North-East Regional - Gateshead Stadium
Sunday 10th February - UK Open South-West Regional - Wellspring Leisure Centre, Taunton
Saturday 1st March - Players Championship - Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex
Sunday 2nd March - UK Open South Regional - Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, Essex
Saturday 15th March - Players Championship - Robin Park Arena, Wigan
Sunday 16th March - UK Open North-West Regional - Robin Park Arena, Wigan
Saturday 29th March - Players Championship - Venue TBC
Sunday 30th March - UK Open Midlands Regional - Venue TBC

Monday, October 01, 2007


Grand Slam of Darts Qualifiers

Yesterday I went to Wolverhampton for the Grand Slam of Darts Wild Card Qualifiers. My aim wasn't to qualify, as I didn't realistically think that was possible. However I did expect to get through a few rounds, and get decent match practise and a bit of form. The draw put me against Andrew Findley in the 1st Round. He isn't a PDPA member, so I didn't know too much about him. I think he's a Cambridgeshire county player, but I'm not 100% certain. I was fairly confident going into the game, but a total lack of consistancy cost me. I won the bull, and although not having a great first leg went 1-0 up. He was very erratic, hitting 2 big scores most legs, but having a couple of poor ones in there too. I was very similar. I was happy with my scoring in general, but there were some shockers in there, and when I was missing I was missing by a long way. Each leg went with throw until it was 3-3, and I had a chance at winning all but 1 of the legs. My finishing had followed on from the previous weekend, and it was diabolical. In legs 7 & 8, I lost count of the amount of darts at doubles I missed, and lost the match 5-3. I never ever felt comfortable at a double during the match, however twice I needed 80 after 12 darts, put the first dart in the treble 20 then missed my doubles. To be fair to him, he did score heavy at the start of most legs, and I'm pretty sure he'll have felt he played well. He got to the last 8 of our section to qualify, so I didn't feel quite so bad afterwards.

The draw for Ireland this weekend hasn't been too kind. On Saturday in the Players Championship I have Jason Clark, who is in a hot patch at the moment. Then on Sunday I play Adrian Gray, who is having a good year and qualified for the Matchplay and Grand Prix this year.

Thursday, September 27, 2007



Last weekend was the 2 Welsh Tournaments. I hadn't really put any decent practise in. Despite planning to get some in the 3 weeks before the tournaments, something always seemed to get in the way. So I went not expecting miracles.

On the Saturday was the Players Championship tournament. In the 1st Round I faced Jimmy Dunlop. Despite my lack of any form whatsoever, I started off ok, winning the first set comfortably 2-0. I took the 1st leg of the 2nd set, but then as often happens my mind started to wonder on to other things, thinking the job was done. Kenny took the next leg, and this seemed to wake him up a bit as he took the next leg to win the set, then also won the 3rd set 2-1. I was in big trouble, and had to hold my throw at 1-1 in the next set. Despite giving him chances, I managed to take it to force a deciding set. This was pretty comfortable and I played much better, and won the set 2-0 to win the match 3-2. In the 2nd Round I played John Quantock. I played him in Hayling Island, and I was very poor and he beat me 3-0. I knew I'd be in for a tough game, but also knew if I played my best I would be ok. He started off well with the throw, and went 1-0 up. I needed a 132 finish in the next leg to level the set up, but then wasted this in the next leg and lost the first set. I played better in the second set, winning it 2-0, but then lost the 3rd set 2-0. We were 1-1 in the 4th, and I missed 2 darts at doubles to level the match, and he then took his double out. While I was no where near my best at all, I still got to plenty of double in both matches. But I was missing plenty, and I was missing Double 10 by a long way, which started to play on my mind.

On Sunday it was the first UK Open Regional. The first round was against Steve Evans (not the ex-Boston manager!). I was expecting a really tough one here, as he's a decent player who beat Ray Barneveld in his first ever PDC tournament! He won the bull, and started off well. But I started well too, and took 117 out in the first leg. The second leg I took 120 out, and in the 3rd and 4th I cruised through, playing as well as I have since I beat Roland Scholten. I had 1 bad leg to let him make it 4-1, but as the doubts started to creep into my head, I managed to close the game out in the next leg to win 5-1. I was very happy with the way I played here, and while his game deteriorated once I won the third leg, this was partly due to how well I was playing. In the 2nd Round I played Kevin McDine. Kevin is shooting up the rankings, and despite being the lower end of the ranked seeds at the moment, it was not a great draw at all. Again I lost the bull up (for the 4th time in the weekend!), and I lost the first leg easily. I played much better in the 2nd, and levelled up at 1-1. He just nicked a good close 3rd leg, and in the 4th I had chances at doubles but couldn't take them. After this I lost my way a little, and he made it 4-1. I again missed doubles in the 6th and he took the match. While this is my recollection of the game, the PDC website says it was 5-2, so I must have won another leg in there somewhere!!

To top the whole weekend off, my girlfriend managed to park the car in a Multi-Story car park on the Saturday morning, that she thought was 24 hours. However when we went back to the car, it was shut at 7pm on Saturday evening, and wasn't open again until 7:30am on Monday! Despite asking the council to open it for us, we couldn't get it out and had to spend an extra night in Newport.

These were the first tournaments in a busy period until the end of the year. The diary is as follows:

Sunday 30th September - Grand Slam of Darts Wildcard Qualifier - Aldersey Leisure Village, Wolverhampton
Saturday 6th October - PDPA Players Championship - City West Hotel, Saggart, Dublin
Sunday 7th October - Irish UK Open Regional - City West Hotel, Saggard, Dublin
Sunday 14th October - Cheshire Open - Rudheath Social Club, Northwich
Saturday 20th October - PDPA Players Championship - Magnum Centre, Irvine
Sunday 21st October - Scottish UK Open Regional - Magnum Centre, Irvine
Saturday 27th October - PDPA Players Championship - SeePark Kirchheim, Germany
Sunday 4th November - John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic - Ireland National Event Centre, Killarney, Ireland
Saturday 10th November - PDPA Players Championship - Golden Tulip Hotel, Lisse, Holland
Sunday 11th November - PDPA Players Championship - Golden Tulip Hotel, Lisse, Holland
Friday 16th November (My Birthday!!) - World Championship Qualifiers - Aldersey Leisure Village, Wolverhampton
Sat-Sun 1st-2nd December - German Darts Championship - Gerry Weber Event Centre, Westfalen, Germany

Those in Red are dependant on money/form.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


UK Open, Northants Open, Scholten, and other bits

I've been a bit slack with this, so time for an update.

Before the UK Open, I decided to play in a couple of smaller opens for match practise. The aim was to win a few games at each one, just to build my confidence.

The first was the Broken Cross Open in Macclesfield on 27th May. A few 'names' were there. I never seem to do well in these kind of things, and I didn't feel comfortable from the moment I started. I managed to scrape through my 1st Round 3-2, despite playing very poorly for the most part. I didn't have as much luck in the 2nd Round, as apart from stringing a 12 dart leg together I was terrible again, and lost 3-2.

My confidence wasn't great at this point, so I wasn't expecting too much from the Northants Open the week after. I was drawn in the last slot of 128, and had a bye in the 1st Round, so I had a long wait with no practise board before my first game. Normally this would affect me, as I need at least a good half an hour before I play. So I was expecting to play like an idiot when my first game came around. While I didn't set the place on fire, I was steady enough and won 3-1. I managed to win in the last 32 3-0, and then probably my tougest game came in the last 16. I went 1-0 down to a guy who was playing very well, when all of a sudden I caught some sort of diesese that turned me into a good player! I went 12,13,15 darts to win the match 3-1. I won the quarter final very easily 3-0, which put me into the stage semi-final. This created a problem, as all players on stage had to wear black trousers, and I was wearing jeans. I borrowed a pair about 2 sizes 2 big, and didn't look or feel quite right! I played in the first semi, against a guy who I think was called Wayne (unfortunately I didn't manage to catch the names of the players I played). For the first 3 legs he was the better player, and was probably slightly unlucky not to be 3-0 up, however I managed to hold my throw with the darts. In the 4th leg, he seems to go a little bit, while I managed to improve. I don't remember how many darts each leg were, but I took the next 3 legs to win the match 4-2. I then went on to play Mick Reed in the final. He's played in the BDO World Championships a couple of times, the most recent in 2004. I had played him once before in the 1st Round of the Lincolnshire Open about 5 years ago. I was 2-0 down and a mile behind in the 3rd leg, when I just relaxed and started throwing after giving up. A few missed doubles from him later and I end up beating him 3-2. I started well with the throw, and then broke him in the 2nd leg. I slacked of a bit for a couple of legs and he pulled it back to 2-2. Then I got control back, and won 3 legs on the trot to win the match 5-2, and become Northants Eagle Open Champion for 2007, and pocket £750 in the process!

Then it was on to the UK Open. I obviously felt pretty good going into it, and fancied my chances of at least getting through to Day 2. Justin Henshaw was my Preliminary Round opponent, a qualifier from Hampshire. I won the bull, and despite a sloppy leg I went 1-0 up. He tied up the 2nd leg easily, but then I started running over him. I won the next 3 legs to make it 4-1, before he held throw. I then won 2 more, and at 6-2 was attracting the attention of the camera's and Helen Chamberlain who were ready to interview me as the first winner of the night (no one else had won more than 5 legs at this point). While thinking of what the hell I was going to say in the interview, I seemed to forget that I still needed 2 legs to win the match, and also seemed to forget how to hit trebles. Justin came right back at me, and won 4 legs in a row to make it 6-6. I was now thinking the worst, and wasn't sure exactly how I was going to win. So this was a perfect time to hit a 12 dart leg, with a 140 finish! This killed Justin off, and I won the 14th leg to win the match 8-6.

I had about an hour and a half before my game against Simon Craven, so I sat down for about half an hour then went upstairs to practise again. Again I won the bull, and I started off brilliantly. 2-0 up, and Simon wasn't able to hit a thing. Unfortunately I caught it, and lost a sloppy 3rd leg, which seemed to liven up Simon and he won the next 3 and once again I was struggling. It then swopped round again, and I won 3 legs on the trot to go 5-4 up. Simon levelled at 5-5, the the 2 keys legs. I missed 4 darts at a double in the 11th leg, and another 2 in the 12th to be 7-5 down. A 13 darter with the throw kept me in it at 7-6, but in the 14th I was always chasing, and with me hoping for a chance to take the match to a decider, Simon took out double 11 with his last dart to beat me 8-6.

I was reasonably happy with how I played in Bolton. When I was on, I was playing good enough to give anyone a run for their money. However, there were too many slack patches in both games where I couldn't hit a thing.

The week after it was down to Hayling Island. I was reasonably confident of getting some prize money from the weekend, and Saturday was my best (and realistcally only) chance. I had drawn John Quantock in the 1st Round, and while he is a decent player, I felt confident I could beat him. Unfortunately, I played like an idiot, and only managed to only win a couple of legs (one needing a 148 finish, which showed my problem). The Sunday was a much tougher draw, as I had world number 8 Roland Scholten. I won the bull, and with a 150 finish in the first leg I felt much better than the day before. I then took the next leg to win the 1st set. Roland took the 2nd set 2-1, while I managed to hold my throw twice to win the 3rd set 2-1. It was 1-1 in the forth set, and Roland hit a 180 to leave himself 32 with me back on 222. I hit 95, and Roland missed 3 darts at a double. With 127 left for the match, I hit treble 20, 17, and was smack bang in the middle of the bull to take my biggest scalp so far. Unfortunately my form in that match didn't transfer to my next game against Pete Allen. I was awful. I still should have won the 2nd set, missing 1 dart at Double 18 on 108 to take it. But my win against Roland still earnt me £75, so at least I made my target of making the money in 1 tournament.

Then it was off to Vegas. While the darts wasn't my main reason for going, I was determined to have a decent run in the qualifiers and play well. In the Players Championship before the qualifiers though, I had drawn Terry Jenkins. Despite losing 3 sets to 0, I was reasonably happy with how I played. I pushed him all the way in the last 2 sets, and was sat on a double in the deciding leg of both when he checked out.

In the 1st Qualifiers, I had drawn American Joe Da Vanti in the 1st Round, and I was content with how I played. I scored ok, and finished well to beat him 4-0. I was then up against Darren Webster in the next round. This was a superb game, with both of us playing very well. He won the bull, which was to be crucial, and the key leg was the 3rd in which I missed a couple of darts to break the throw. Every leg in the match went with the darts, and I lost 4-3.

The next day I had another American first up, Andrew Bennett. It's fair to say I wasn't happy at all during this game, and it showed. Both of us were terrible, and I was just the one who was less poor and won it 4-2. I then was up against Matt Clark in the 2nd Round. I did play better, and won the throw. I found myself 2-1 up, and needing 96 for the 4th leg hit the treble 20, but missed 2 darts at double 18. Again this would cost me, and I never recovered and went down 4-2.

The real reason for being in Vegas was the World Series of Poker Main Event. I struggled in the first 2 hour level, and was playing bad. After a starting stack of 20,000, I was down to about 8,000 and for some reason ended up all in with pocket 10's. The bad news was that I was up against pocket Jacks, but the good news was two 10's came on the flop to give me quads!! I tightened up a little bit, and got myself back to about 26,000, but just after Howard Lederer was knocked out (who was on my table), the table was broken up and I was moved to a new table that I hated. A few hands in and I got AK, and after I missed the flop the guy raised 10,000 into a 3,000 pot. I didn't know anything about him at the time but I'm pretty sure he had nothing, though it wasn't worth the risk. 10 minutes later after seeing the way he was playing I'd have gone all in, he was a maniac. Then just before the dinner break I get AK again and get called. Flop brings an ace and I raise 3/4 the pot, and the guy is calling me before I've even had chance to throw the chips in. Turn comes and the guy ends up convincing me he has two pair. He goes all in, and after alot of thinking I fold. He had AJ (no J on board), so I'm bluffed off AK for a third time in the day. That put me down to 13,000, and then after I'm moved table a while after lunch more bad play by me (involving AK again) I go as low as 6,000. Before I get moved yet again, I get pocket Jacks after someone had already raised. Big stack then pushes all in (other player got out the way) and he had Aces. No help flop or turn and as I'm about to get up from my seat the river is a Jack. The last level was at a new table. I didn't get any major hands, but I played pretty well to claw my way back to above my starting stack. Then on Day 2, just about half way through the day I'd got my self up to about 45,000, but I decided to make a stand against a guy who had raised my big blind every round but 3. I missed the flop but bet anyway and he called, and did the same again on the turn. I had to stop at the flop because I'd have ended up going out. Then I couldn't pick up a hand, and in the small blind with 1 limper and only 16,000 chips left (blinds and antes were costing 4,200 a round) I went all in with A 5. Limper called with pocket 7's and out I went. I was enjoyable though and I aim to have another crack next year!

Once back in rainy England, it was over to Blackpool for the World Darts Trophy qualifiers, then the Bobby Bourne Memorial Trophy. I hadn't thrown a darts for over 2 weeks, even in practise, so I was never comfortable. But I had hoped to at least play myself into a bit of form for the Bobby Bourne. I had drawn Colin Monk in the WDT playoff, and I was as bad as I feared I might be. I won the 2nd leg, but I was lucky to even do that and lost 5-1. The next day I had Jason Crawley in the 1st Round. I hoped I would play better, and I think I did. I took the first set against the darts, then gave the 2nd straight back to him. I was a leg up in the 3rd, but after he had took out 160 it killed me off. I struggled to hit trebles after that, and I ended up losing 3-1.

I now have a break until September when the UK Open Regionals start again. Hopefully once I pick up my practising again at the end of the month I can get some money on the board early!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


UK Open & Upcoming Tournaments

The draw has been done for the UK Open next month.

2007 Blue Square UK Open

Preliminary & First Rounds - (P) denotes Preliminary Round tie

Board One (Main Stage)
Chris Daglish v Cliff Lazarenko (P)
Ray Carver v Mark Hylton (P)
Chris McTernan v Michael van Gerwen
Steve Cusick v Toon Greebe
Eddie Hughes v Richie Burnett
Paul Knighton v Alan Green

Board Two (Second Stage)
Ian Gunion v Sean Dowling (P)
Stuart Holden v Darrel Thorpe (P)
Mick Savvery v Ray Farrell
Vernon Sheppard v Michael Barnard
Paul Whitworth v Andy Roberts
Rico Vonck v Noonan/Riley

Board Three
Brian Cathcart v James Keogh (P)
Kevin Harris v Richard McLaughlin (P)
Peter Green v Dylan Cook
Mark Frost v Chris Allen
Daglish/Lazarenko v Payne/Macken
Carver/Hylton v Mark Robinson

Board Four
Nigel Payne v Ross Macken (P)
Barry French v Ian Branks (P)
John Burton v Nigel Heydon
Geoff Wylie v Mark Stephenson
Hunion/S Dowling v Sam Rooney
Mark Wilson v Birch/Turley

Board Five
Andrew Gourlay v Rikki Williams (P)
Geoff Harkup v Wayne Brown (P)
Dave Blenkarne v Ian Wise
Ian Walters v Darrell Townsend
Harris/McLaughlin v Rick Andrews
Aaron Turner v Whitehouse/N Turner

Board Six
Johnny Haines v Steve Hardy (P)
Steve Whitehouse v Nicky Turner (P)
Jason Crawley v Mark Pooke
Dale Newton v Gourlay/R Williams
Simon Craven v Henshaw/Blades
Harkup/Brown v Haines/Hardy

Board Seven
Justin Henshaw v Gary Blades (P)
Rob Hawker v James Barton (P)
Stephen Davidson v Bob Crawley
Andrew Coulter v Ian Whillis
Hawker/Barton v Danny Pinhorne
Scott Mitchell v Cathcart/Keogh

Board Eight
Nigel Birch v Alf Turley (P)
Gary Noonan v Pete Riley (P)
Henry O'Neill v Matty Dalwood
Mick Rodgers v Mark Thomson
Holden/Thorpe v Kieron Leal
French/Branks v Doug Walker

Second Round

Board One

Mitchell/Cathcart/Keogh v Jelle Klaasen
Kirk Shepherd v Roger Carter
Garry Spedding v Dave Honey
Andy Callaby v Sean Palfrey

Board Two
Mark Walsh v Garrett Gray
Alan Reynolds v Pete Allen
David Platt v Matt Chapman
Robbie Green v Blenkarne/Wise

Board Three
Kevin Dowling v Matt Sheehan
Stuart Dutton v Cusick/Greebe
Lee Palfreyman v French/Branks/Walker
Wylie/Stephenson v Shaun McDonald

Board Four
Holden/Thorpe/Leal v Wilson/Birch/Turley
Craven/Henshaw/Blades v Knighton/A Green
Chris Thompson v Hughes/Burnett
Rodgers/Thomson v O'Neill/Dalwood

Board Five
D Newton/Gourlay/R Williams v Darren Latham
Gunion/S Dowling/Rooney v Tom Wilson
Savvery/Farrell v A Turner/Whitehouse/N Turner
Frost/C Allen v Darren Webster

Board Six
Paul Watton v Carver/Hylton/Robinson
Sheppard/Barnard v Paul Williams
Harris/McLaughlin/Andrews v Davidson/B Crawley
Burton/Hayden v Simon Whatley

Board Seven
Coulter/Whillis v McTernan/van Gerwen
Martin Burchell v Daglish/Lazarenko/Payne/Macken
John Quantock v P Green/Cook
Hawker/Barton/Pinhorne v Mark Cox

Board Eight
Tony Randell v Lyndon Davies
Whitworth/Roberts v Walters/Townsend
J Crawley/Pooke v Vonck/Noonan/Riley
Harkup/W Brown/Haines/Hardy v Josephus Schenk

Third Round

Board One

John Part v K Dowling/Sheehan
Mark Dudbridge v Ronnie Baxter
Alan Warriner-Little v Wayne Jones
Bob Anderson v Brendan Dolan

Board Two
Alex Roy v Dave Smith
Martyn Turner v Colin Monk
Dave Askew v Dennis Smith
Rodgers/Thomson/O'Neill/Dalwood v Chris Mason

Board Three
Gary Welding v Darren Williams
K Shepherd/Carter v Walsh/Gray
Dave Jowett v Spedding/Honey
Callaby/Palfrey v Harris/McLaughlin/Andrews/Davidson/B Crawley

Board Four
Jason Clark v Dutton/Cusick/Greebe
Reynolds/P Allen v Watton/Carver/Hylton/Robinson
J Crawley/Pooke/Vonck/Noonan/Riley v Darren Johnson
R Green/Blenkarne/Wise v Lionel Sams

Board Five
Coulter/Whillis/McTiernan/van Gerwen v Dave Ladley
Craven/Henshaw/Blades/Knighton/A Green v Keith Deller
Palfreyman/French/Branks/Walker v D Newton/Gourlay/R Williams/Latham
Owen Caffrey v Wylie/Stephenson/McDonald

Board Six
Tony Martin v Mitchell/Cathcart/Keogh/Klaasen
Jamie Harvey v Gunion/S Dowling/Rooney/T Wilson
Platt/Chapman v Harkup/W Brown/Haines/Hardy/Schenk
Frost/C Allen/Webster v Alan Caves

Board Seven
Whitworth/Roberts/Walters/Townsend v Chris Hook
Sheppard/Barnard/P Williams v Wayne Atwood
Thompson/Hughes/Burnett v Quantock/P Green/Cook
Matt Clark v Burton/Heydon/Whatley

Board Eight
Holden/Thorpe/Leal/M Wilson/Birch/Turley v Steve Brown
Randell/Davies v Burchell/Daglish/Lazarenko/Payne/Macken
Savvery/Farrell/A Turner/Whitehouse/N Turner v John Kuczynski
Hawker/Barton/Pinhorne v Mark Holden

The Preliminary and 1st Rounds are played on Thursday June 7th, and the 2nd & 3rd Rounds will be played on Friday June 8th. All these games are best of 15 Legs, and coverage on Sky Sports begins at 7pm each day. Then on Saturday afternoon the top 32 come in at the 4th Round, and the tournament continues until the Final on Sunday evening.

Unfortunately I have to play a Prelim, against Justin Henshaw. I don't know anything about him at all, but to get through the Punch Tavern qualifiers he must have played well. If I win that one, I face Simon Craven in the 1st Round. Looking at his results in the PDC recently, they look very similar to mine, so this could be a toss of a coin job. The 2nd Round would be either Alan Green or Paul Knighton. Again I don't know too much about Knighton, but he has played in the BDO World Championships before if its the same one I think it is. Green has played on TV a couple of times recently, and this would be a very tough match. Then if I was to get through all 3 games I would face former World Champion Keith Deller!

After almost 2 months without a tournament, it now gets pretty busy until the end of July. Tournaments I am entering are:

Sunday 27th May - Broken Cross Open - Broken Cross Club, Macclesfield
Sunday 3rd June - Northants Eagle Open - The Band Club, Burton Latimer
7th-10th June - Blue Square UK Open - Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Saturday 16th June - PDPA Players Championship - Lakeside Holiday Village, Hayling Island
Sunday 17th June - PDPA Players Championship - Lakeside Holiday Village, Hayling Island
Sunday 1st July - PDPA Players Championship - Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
2nd-3rd July - Las Vegas Desert Classic VI Qualifiers - Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
6th-17th July - World Series of Poker Main Event - Rio, Las Vegas (Not Darts, but hey!)
Saturday 21st July - Bobby Bourne Memorial Trophy - Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I'm in!!!

This past weekend was last chance saloon, or so I thought! I needed to get £75 from the last UK Open Regional, and that meant winning 2 games. First I played Graeme Stoddart, who was in the top 16 in the world for quite a while a few years ago. I started off very poorly. I fould myself 3-0 before I had even started. A couple of decent scores to start the 4th leg got me going, and I won the next 3 legs very comfortably. The final leg against the darts was much the same, and I was on a double with Stoddart well behind. However 15 darts later I was still on a double, and Stoddart was down with me. Plenty more misses for both of us, before I finally hit Double 1 to win the match. 2nd Round I faced Dave Askew, who has a couple of World Championship Semi Final appearances on his record. Again I lost the bull, but managed to steal the 1st leg. I won the 2nd comfortably, but then stuttered a bit once again. Askew took 3 legs on the bounce to go 3-2 up, before I levelled at 3-3. Askew held in the 7th leg, and in the 8th he took 141 out to win the match 5-3. Disapointing again, but with every tournament my confidence is growing, and I'm proving that I can live with the pro's, even if I'm not quite doing enough to beat them yet.

So that was that for this year I thought, but then this morning I saw they have adjusted the rules slightly for qualification. The tournaments before the new year had less prize money on offer, so it was a bit unfair that those who achieved the same results after the prize money had gone up would be ranked higher than those before. Therefore those just outside the top 128 (all on £50 are joint 133rd) are also invited to compete in the UK Open in June.

This will be my 2nd appearance at the Reebok Stadium, and hopefully I play much better than my 1st Round exit 2 years ago. The draw is done in mid May, so I'll find out then whether I have a toughy against a top star on the main TV stage, or a winnable game on the outside boards.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


South & North West Regionals

In the South regional in London, I had drawn Andrew Coulter in the 1st Round. As I said in my previous, I didn't know too much about him. But searching for some results he had beaten some decent players so I knew I'd have to play well (as I do whoever I draw). I won the bull, and the 1st leg was pretty poor from both of us. I managed to get to the double first and hit it. The 2nd leg was better, but I didn't get a dart at a double as he finished straight away. Then I started to warm up. A 13 darter in the 3rd leg, followed by a 151 finish in the 4th killed him off, and the 5th leg was just steady but I took that to win 4-1. Yet again my 2nd game problem came to bite me though. If i'd have played as I did in the 1st game, I'd have beaten Matt Clark. But I was poor once again. He won the bull, and went 2-0 up. I improved slightly to take the 3rd against the darts, but then missed darts at doubles to level it at 2-2. After this I never recovered, and went on to lose 5-1.

2 weeks later, it was on to Manchester for the North West Regionals. The first round was Dave Green, who I knew all about from his postings on the Superstars of Darts website. I won't go into much detail about this match, as I don't like slagging off fellow players particuarly. But his antics during the game affected me, in as much that after going 2-0 up quite easily, I then started focusing on doing a job on him instead of just getting through to the next round. It almost cost me, as I stopped playing and let him get back to 2-2. I was dire in the 5th leg, and was lucky to win it, before I pulled myself together a bit in the 6th and won it to win the match 4-2. Dave Jowett was my 2nd Round opponent, and it was certainly the best I've played at this stage for a while. I know Dave from the Monday Night Doncaster league I used to play in, and I know how good he can be. He qualified for the 2004 World Matchplay, as well as the World Championship a few months ago. I lost the bull, but won the 1st leg against the darts with an 89 finish (treble 19, double 8, double 8............). He had hit a 180 in that leg, which was a reoccuring event as he hit 6 in the match, plus a 177. He broke straight back in the 2nd, while the 3rd, 4th & 5th went with throw. In the 6th, I missed 1 dart at a double, and Dave punished me by taking 120 out. I broke straight back in the 7th having to take out 85. The 8th was close, but a bad 30 by me let him in. He then hit 177 to leave himself 32. I followed with 145 to leave 57, but he took out Double 16 1st dart. Despite losing, I was relatively happy with my performace to lost 5-3 against a player who was bang in form.

This weekend is the final UK Open Regional in Nottingham. The draw hasn't been too kind, in that I play Graeme Stoddart and then hopefully Dave Askew. It's a chance at revenge for me though, as I bottled a chance to beat Stoddart in September in the Welsh Regional.

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