Thursday, January 23, 2020

r/Darts Weekly Challenge #3

This week's challenge is as follows:

Easy Challenge: Hit each of 3, 6, and 9 in the skinny single segment.
Medium Challenge: Score at least 125 points in Bulls only.
Hard Challenge:  Hit each of 7, 11, and 13 in the double segment.

The easy one was quickly gotten:


The medium not so much.  In fact the closest I came to getting it was a few four-count in the bulls.  Below is one of the earlier ones.  I have gotten a 6 Count in the bulls twice in 16 years of darting, and 5 Count in the bulls probably a dozen or more times, but alas, not during this week.


The hard was arguably easier than the medium, though not by too much.  This is the closest I came for the first several days worth of trying for it.  The third dart plopping into the corner of the Double 4 was a bit painful, but I was at least happy for the Doubles Trick, even if it did not satisfy the conditions of this week's challenge!



However, a few minutes ago I finally hit the hard one for this weeks challenge:


All of these shots were taken during the course of a multi-session Rotational Modified Doubles practice routine so I happened to cycle through many darts during the effort.  The easy challenge was gotten using the vintage hex brass darts that originally had a hairpin flight holder (which I replaced with a Voks stem). The other (unsuccessful) two shots feature my vintage Unicorn chrome-plated brass darts wearing short duraluminum Fit Stems and standard Fit Flights.  The darts I was using when I hit the D7, D11, D13 were the Dart World Scoundrels.

Hopefully I'll be able to update this post reporting success on the medium challenge, but given the short time remaining it is not likely.

MDCQL #6 (and Last!)

Rubbish.

That's a pretty good one word descriptor for my outing last night.  It was my sixth and final (maybe forever) outing with the Metro Darts Club.  My match last night was against a gentleman named Kevin who politely, and in a very friendly manner, schooled me in the ways of darts.  I did have a few moments of goodness (but not greatness) last night, but I lost the match, and I felt like a B Leaguer all night long.  There were long stretches where I felt like I couldn't buy a triple.  Anyway, here is how it went down:

I lost the match 2-3 in sets, and I lost 9-11 in legs.  My three dart average for the match was the lowest it has ever been in Metro League, at 47.5, and this brought my season average down to 50.93.  Looking at the division standings, that is actually the highest average among the entire group but I do not see how that is possible based on how I have performed in my two matches this week. In terms of good hits, I did have a couple of Ton-40's which pleases me greatly, but I only accumulated 2063 in tonnage, which is my lowest for the entire season.  I also had a couple of nice outs including a 90, and a 65.

The first set was a win for me as 3-2.  In the first leg I was sitting on 68, missed into the S20, then hit the S16 squarely, but missed the D16 outside.  Next visit I missed it outside again but then hit it with my next dart.  Leg 2 was a loss, but it was my second strongest leg of the night at 71 PPR.  I was at 175 and hit a ton to bring it down to 75, but never had another visit.  My opponent threw a command performance.  Leg three started out great with 70, 100, 100, but then turned into a shit show for me as I couldn't finish to save my life. I had 50 remaining and took a shot at bull.  Hit the 25, cracked that with a 9, and then missed the D8 outside. Then I spent the next six rounds whittling my score down to 2 and missing the doubles ring.  Happily my opponent put me out of my misery and we moved on. The fourth leg was an unspectacular, slightly anemic, win with a true struggle to finish as well.  I threw nine darts at the double ring before I finally took out the D8.  The last leg was a win.  I took out 40 but it took me five darts to do it.

Set two was a loss for me at 2-3.  The first leg was a win and I opened it with a 140, but other than actually hitting the D20 to win that was my only good shot of the leg. The second leg was a loss, but it was a strong game for me at 53.9 PPR.  I was sitting on 168, hit 98 to bring it down to 70, then next visit I hit the T18 but then missed the D8 outside twice before I lost. The third leg was also a loss due to anemia.  I was sitting on 104 when my opponent checked out. Leg four was a win and a good one!  I had a 71.6 three dart average, and took out 65 with S15, S18, D32, pretty as you please:


Leg five, the rubber match for the set, was an anemic mess for me and a loss.  So at this point we are tied 1-1 in sets.

Set three was a 3-0 win for me. None of the games were especially strong average-wise, but I did manage to hit my outs before my opponent in each game.  The only remarkable instance in this set was that in the second leg I took out 90, my highest out for the evening, with T20, miss outside, D15. I enjoyed that one:


My opponent turned the tables on my in set four, handing me my ass in the form of a 0-3 set loss. And while I only had a single ton among all three legs, I wouldn't say that I lost due to anemia so much as my opponent was simply dominant during those legs.  In all three I never had a single shot at the double ring.

Set five was another loss for me at 1-3. My three losses in this match were unremarkable instances of either failing to put up big numbers or in at least once instance, having a good game but being overpowered.  Sadly, in the second loss of the match I had 40 remaining but spent three darts missing outside the D10 simply because my attention faltered. Shame on me!

Why did I lose the 11 legs I dropped?  In the final analysis, its mostly due to being out-performed by my opponent in 7 games, but there were two games in which I was straight up anemic, and two games in which my finishing suffered miserably, including one loss where my opponent gave me 19 darts at the out but I could not capitalize on it. Even in some of my wins my finishing suffered. Over all 20 legs I spent 83 darts shot at the double ring to secure only 9 successful hits.  That is over 9 darts per double hit.  However, if you remove that one outlying 19-dart fiasco, my finishing for the match was more along the lines of 7 darts spent per double hit.  This is still quite bad.  The worse part is this:  Before the match started I did a full round of doubles, and I was solid.

Metro league is good for me in many ways, but I doubt I will play it again anytime soon.  I love the one on one against a strong opponent piece because it forces me to play well and raise my game.  However, scheduling the matches is a colossal pain in the ass and equates to too much uncertainty in my weekly schedule.  I prefer to have a scheduled, reliable, "dart night" even if that means I personally play less and against a variety of players.

The darts I took were my 21 gram Steve Cootes.  I'd forgotten how sticky they get over the course of the evening.  I regretted bringing them by the third set.  I won't make that mistake again.  Of course when I go back to B League in February I'll probably go back to bringing a variety of darts.  Just because I love all my darts and I want to throw them all!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

MDCQL #5

My worst Metro League outing yet.  Not only was it a loss, but a whopping one at 1-4.  Even worse, of the 19 legs we played I only won 7!  What happened?

Tonight's match was against a gentleman I'd never met before named Jeff.  He, like most darters, is a terrifically nice guy, swell into darts, and a fine shot.  And like me, he has a fledgling dart collection that he admires and is proud of.  Unlike me, however, he is primarily a soft tip player and plays a lot.

I am wondering if my performance tonight might not have been at least partially undermined by my own shitty attitude.  I did not want to play in the venue we settled on; it has its dartboards right next to the front door so every time the front door opened not only did you have commotion behind you but you also got blasted by a swale of cold air.  Even worse, the floor under the oche is not even, and the whole area slants slightly.  So going into it I knew I didn't want to play there and I may have done a poor job of eradicating those feelings from my mind pre-match.  After all, when the environment is shitty, it is shitty for everyone, not just me.

Nonetheless, my philosophy is that I have no excuse for playing poorly, only reasons.  Thus I need to deep dive a little on this match and figure out exactly what the hell I was doing wrong!

The two highlights I will claim from this match were these:  first, going into the last set I was down 0-4.  And instead of succumbing to defeat I rallied and won the last set 3-0.  So at least I was able to mentally maintain a modicum of resilience.  Second, I played well enough that I maintained a 51+ three dart average, and I still have the highest average in the qualifier league.

The lowlights are too numerous to enumerate.  But a few of them included not hitting any 180's or even any 140's, accumulating a meager 2,068 in tonnage, and of course, dropping so many legs. 

On to the analysis:

I lost the first four sets, 2-3, 1-3, 1-3, 0-3, respectively.  I seemed to get worse as the sets went on.  At a high level, of the twelve losses, three were due to an inability to finish, four were due to an inability to score bigly, and in five I was playing decently, but was overpowered by my opponent.  And another interesting tidbit: in nine of the twelve losses I never got a single dart at the double ring.

The first set had a very different loss profile than the other three sets I lost.  In the first set, all three of my losses were an inability to finish. Between the three losses I threw 15 darts at the double ring without a successful hit, and across all five legs I threw 19 darts at the double ring with only 2 hits. That's an average of 9.5 darts per double hit.

After that first set though, finishing was not my downfall.  In sets 2, 3, and 4, my losses were all due to either anemia or simply being overpowered.  In fact, my two strongest games during the match were both losses with an average if 64.3.

Across all 19 legs we played I threw a dart at the double ring 45 times, hitting successfully 7 of them, for an average of 6.4 darts per double hit.

I think I have belabored the analysis enough.  I know what I need to do: practice :)

I took a single set with me this time (as I have done for all but one Metro matches thus far) and they were the samely configured Voks Nobu's I have been favoring.  Next time tho, definitely switching it up.  Thinking about breaking out the Steve Cootes again.

Friday, January 17, 2020

r/Darts Weekly Challenge #2

This week's challenge is as follows:

Easy Challenge: Checkout 41
Medium Challenge: Checkout 77
Hard Challenge:  Checkout 115

The easy one was quickly gotten, and in a rather boring fashion: S1, S20, D10.  The S20 was a really bad miss.  I was obviously going for the double :P


The medium challenge took a while but I enjoyed it.  I started by going for the 51, figuring if I missed into the 17, I'd have a nice 2-dart 60 out.  But I bored of that quickly and went over to the 57.  I missed into literally everything around it and discovered the 77 out is quite fun if you aim your first dart at the T19.  However, that did not pan out, and I eventually got it with: S12, S15, DB.  Odd?  Yes.  The first dart was aimed at T20 but missed miserably into the S12 leaving 65.  65 with two darts is always T15, D10 (or S15, DB if you miss the triple (which in this case I did!)).


Note the medium challenge was done with my new 11 gram UFO's.

The hard challenge proved to be a real bear.  After dedicating three sessions and literally hundreds of visits to it with no success, I finally hit it.  I had been within a millimeter of hitting it probably 50 times though.  I ended up going T20, S15, D20:


I was cycling through a number of miscellaneous sets during my practice session tonight and happened to be throwing my 24 gram "Vintage" line Bottelsen Hammerheads, wearing medium gear Fit Stems and Shape Fit Flights.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

11 gram Brass UFO's

These little beauties are a sheer joy to throw.  They are light as a feather, or at least feel so.  I can only assume that they were made by someone, somewhere as a soft tip dart.  They are all brass with an incorporated stem, and only a small stem top to hold the flight in place.  The sleekness of the body and the thoughtfully engineered flight holder make me think this was a professionally done dart.  They are slightly reminiscent of a Bottelsen GT.


The body is all brass, and the flight holder is a small screw-in piece that looks like it could be the top of an old two-piece stem, but I have no idea what thread it is.  one of these days I am going to get a tap and die kit that will allow me to determine exactly what the various threads are on some of the old darts I have, including this one. 


The Reflex conversion points fit them like a glove.  They almost seem designed with these darts in mind.


Throwing them takes practice.  Once you get the hang of them they fly pretty well though.  Chucking them at the triple 20 will reward you with ample 1's and 5's because they are so light they are kind of like chucking a feather at the dartboard, but I eventually got on with them well enough.  In a round of doubles practice last night I hit a Doubles Trick in the 18, 19, and 20 as you can see below.



I have never seen this dart before, or anything like it really.  I'd love to have this dart in various materials, or even mixed materials.  If the front end of the dart were tungsten it'd probably fly a little more true.

MDCQL #4

Today's match was a first for me, in many ways.  I played against Kornfed, whom I expected to wallop me handily, and due to time, circumstances, and weather we decided to play against each other over the internet.  This was the first manner in which it was a first.  I'd played my good buddy barn over the net using ezchalk.net many times back in the day so I guess it wasn't that much of a first, but I'd yet to play an official match this was.  The score keeper was DartConnect, and I used my phone for a camera, and we used a WhatsApp call to share our video streams.  Pretty good set up, I think.

I lost 2-3.  But I did not get walloped which is nice.  Kornfed can throw a mean dart and I expected to put up a strong fight but I knew going in that the competition would be fierce.  Even though it was a loss, the funny thing is, the loss was only slight.  Check it out:

Mine  ------------------------------------------  His
PPR       51.0  --  51.2       PPR
Points  10,035  --  10,132  Points
Darts        590  --  594        Darts
Leg wins        9  --  12      Leg wins
Set wins        2  --  3        Set wins

Pretty fucking even.  The kicker is that I had many opportunities to win more legs but my finishing suffered a bit and I couldn't close the deal resulting in more losses than I really needed to endure.

I had a few highlights:  First, I hit my highest out in recent memory - 113!  Quite proud of that.  Also, my 3DA was 51.0 which is just a hair (.3) higher than it was on Monday against Jeff. Also, even though I didn't get any 180's and only two 140's, my scoring in general was higher and I ended up with more tonnage than last time at 2,834.

The lowlights are that I lost the match (of course) but more importantly, struggling to finish.

Here is what I have learned from my losses and from the match in general.  First, don't ever play a match in your own garage in the middle of winter if the garage is so cold you are actually shivering when the match starts.  Those are not ideal conditions and I think they affected my game.  I had a space heater going the whole time but it did not help much.  Secondly, never start a long match without a proper warm up.  You don't want to give up games or even sets because you are still getting loose.  The coldness in my garage kept me away from the board until the match started and I only took 9 warm up darts.

I lost the first set 1-3.  The first loss was straight up anemia, never having thrown even a single dart at the double ring.  Second leg was my only win and I took out 16 spending about three darts to do so. The third game was mostly anemic. I afforded myself 2 darts at the double ring before I lost and they were both misses. The last game of the set was also a loss but it was a strong game for me, relatively.  I hit at least four triple 20's in there, spread across four rounds, and had a 52.6 average for the leg.  I was able to whittle the score down to 80 when my opponent took out 112 for the win.

The second set I won, 3-1.  In the first leg I won by taking out 52 with three darts, missing one shot at the D16 outside, and hitting it with my last dart.  The second leg was a win, and I dare say it was anemic right up until the end when I pull the game out of the mud.  I hit five 45's, two 41's, a 36, and a 3(!), leaving myself 155.  Then I hit a ton to bring it down to 55, and then took out 55 with three darts.  S15, D20 (miss), D20.  The third leg was my only loss for the set and I lost because I couldn't hit anything.  The game was decently strong as I hit a ton and a few other 60+ rounds, but in the end I floundered.  I was on 61 and somehow scored 36 to leave 25.  Then, in a truly B League fashion, I missed the S9 into the S14, and then miscalculated, hitting the S5 squarely, leaving a 6.  And then I missed the D3 outside. Then I missed it three more times outside and never got another chance.  The last leg was a win. At the end I hit a ton to leave 45, then hit the S13, and missed into the S16 with one of the darts to leave 16, which I took out next round with S8, D4.

The third set I won 3-2, and this set contained some of my strongest games.  The first leg was my strongest of the entire match at a meager 62.6 PPR, and I took out 113.  I wanted to go T20, S13, D20, but my first dart missed into the S20, leaving 93.  Then I hit the T19, leaving 36 and hit the D18 just as pretty as you please.  This is my highest checkout in recent memory.

My 113 Checkout:


In this leg, and in the next leg (also a win) my opponent still had over 100 points remaining.  The second leg I took out 87 with T17, D18, but the second dart missed outside before I took out the 36.  The third game was a loss but only barely.  It was a strong game for me.  I opened with a 9, but then hit 70, 60, 98, 100, 100 leaving 64.  But next round I busted the 64 by missing the D8 into the D16, and then next round could only whittle score down to 16 before I lost.  The fourth leg was a loss but not for lack of trying.  I hit a couple of tons but was only able to whittle the score down to 98 before my opponent won. He simply over-powered me in that leg.  The fifth leg was a win for me, anemic though it was.  No tonnage, and in the end, with 91 left, I hit the T17, missed the D20 outside, then hit the D2 leaving 38. Next round I missed the D19 outside, then inside, then cracked the score with a 3.  Next round I hit the D8 first dart.

The fourth set was a loss, 2-3.  I am not going to analyze every leg, but here are a few things that happened: In the first leg I busted 80 with a miss int the T20 and never got another chance. In the second leg I spent 12 darts missing the D5 before I lost in my worst case of finishing-suffering of the match.  In another leg I was left with 82 and decided to go pro with 50, 32, and hit the inner bull first dart!  But then missed the 32 with the other two darts.  I took it out next round though so that was at least a win.

The fifth set I lost 0-3.  All three were strong efforts on my part, but my opponent was stronger. In the first two legs I never had an opportunity to throw for a double.  In the last leg I did.  I hit a 140 and a 125 in the game and at one point I was sitting on 103.  Hit the S20, T19, but then missed the D12 outside.  Next round I managed to halve it to 12, then next visit I halved it again to 6. Then I spent three darts missing the D3 outside, and then that was it.  Kornfed won the leg, the set, and the match.

In the final analysis, of my 12 losses, three were due to not putting up big scores (anemia), four were due to an inability to finish, and in five I was simply overpowered by a strong opponent.  I have certainly had worse losses!  As for finishing across all 21 legs, I spent 68 darts aimed at the double ring and hit it successfully 9 times.  This is actually worse than last week at 7.5 darts per successful double.

In this match I used the 19 gram Nobu's, dressed the same as last time.  I am liking this dart as my go-to dart.  Funnily, even though I had several other darts available to me I was never tempted even once to pick up a different set.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MDCQL #3

Last night's outing was a fine evening indeed, all around.  The company was great and the darts were also great.  I played last night against one of my favorite people in league, Jeff C.  He is a happy-seeming person, always has a smile and a friendly demeanor, and whats more, he loves darts as much as I do.  Even better:  He is willing to play non-standard games with me.  Last night after the match, despite the both of us being a little darted-out, we snuck in a quick game of Wickets & Bats.

The evening was a good win for me, which was needed psychologically I think, given my recent failure at the Singles Shoot.  The highlights of the match for me include: a Ton-80 (yay!), six Ton-40's, 2753 total points in tonnage, a 94-out, and (in one game) a 79.1 3 Dart Average. The win itself was a little be landslidey (forgive me Jeff); 5-0 win in sets, 15-4 win in legs, and I out score my opponent 9400 total points to 8000.

The two lowlights on the evening were: a meager 50.7 three dart average across all 19 legs, and I was really hit and miss on finishing, sometimes spending several rounds to either finish, or ultimately lose a leg.

Why did I lose the four I lost?  In no case was I simple walloped. In each lost leg I had 2, 32, 4, and 9 remaining respectively, so it is safe to say that three of my losses was an inability to finish. In only one leg did I lose due to anemia. And I'd follow that up by saying that in some of the legs I won my finishing was sloppy enough that I was lucky to win at all!

The first set I won 3-1. In the leg I lost I was sitting on 124, and hit an 81 to leave 43.  Then I busted, then I hit a 39 to leave 4, then I whittled that down to 2, then I spent busted again. During all of this piddling around my opponent caught up to me and took out 112 for the high out of the evening.  Up until my finishing troubles I was averaging a respectable 57 3DA.

The second set I won 3-2.  In the first lost leg I didn't put up any numbers at all, and actually only had one dart at the out.  I was sitting on 70, missed the T18 into S18, hit the S20 squarely, and then missed D16 outside.  My opponent finished easily before I had another chance.  It is hard to say that this loss was due to an inability to finish since I only gave myself one dart at the out.  Rather, this was an anemic effort from the start of the leg.  The second leg I dropped in this set was a sorrowful loss indeed.  I whittled the score down to 60 in 15 darts, averaging 88.2.  Then I floundered like a boss. I hit 40 to leave 20 (2 misses at the double ring), then 10, to leave 10, then a bust, then 6 to leave 4, then three misses outside the D2 before my opponent finally put me out of my misery.  That was shaping up to be my best leg of the evening until I collapsed.  In all, I missed the double ring 14 times.  ouch.

The third and fourth sets were both 3-0 wins.

The fifth set I won 3-1. In the dropped leg, I was hot and cold.  I hit three tons, but I also hit three 26's! I was sitting on 236 and hit a ton to leave 136, then I hit another ton to leave 36.  Then I missed the D18 outside and inside, and the D9 inside to leave 9.  Then I busted, then I lost.  But cheers to my opponent who hit D16, D16 to take out 64!  Always nice to have a double-double for a win.

So what about my finishing when I did win? Here were my 15 wins:

  1. DO: 4 -- 17 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  2. DO: 94 -- 2 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  3. DO: 60 -- 2 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  4. DO: 2 -- 18 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  5. DO: 8 -- 9 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  6. DO: 38 -- 6 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  7. DO: 32 -- 5 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  8. DO: 32 -- 2 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  9. DO: 40 -- 4 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  10. DO: 2 -- 14 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  11. DO: 9 -- 8 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  12. DO: 32 -- 1 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  13. DO: 20 -- 3 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  14. DO: 53 -- 2 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
  15. DO: 10 -- 7 darts spent to get it from a one-dart out.
So all totaled, that is exactly 100 darts spent aiming at the double ring with only 15 successful hits.  I had some lousy finishing in there, and some quite good finishing.  The average is a rather satanic 6.66 darts spent to hit a single double.  Not good!  I need to boil that down to about 3 at least.  

This was my 94 out:


The darts I used last night, exclusively, were the 19 gram Voks Nobus with #6 carbon stems and slim Fit Flight Airs.  I have found this to be my go-to darts.  I have continued my recent trend of only bringing one set of darts to a match.  This way I am forced to correct any variance in my mechanics as opposed to just swapping darts.

All in all, it was a good night.

Max 54

Same darts, next day during a Metro League match.  I was throwing well in general, but this quality shot came during the midst of some other great hitting.  It was followed up with a 140, and then a 40 out.


The photo is a bit blurry.  I usually feel a little guilty taking a photo during the middle of a match, partly because it cuts into the cadence of the throwing, and also if my opponent is not throwing well then I am afraid they think I am showboating.  So I just snap a quick pic and slink back to the behind-the-oche (that place needs a name. On-deck?).  Thus, in this case, blurriness.

These are the 19 gram Voks Nobus wearing #6 carbon stems and slim Fit Flight Airs.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

First Ton-80 of 2020

Number 53 lifetime, and first for the year, with hopefully many more to come.


These are the 19 gram Nobus with #6 carbon stems and slim Fit Flight Airs.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Unsuccessful Singles Shoot

I was invited to the post-season B League Singles Shoot as an alternate again this time around and it didn't go as planned :P  Last season I won this shoot in fine fashion, but this time around I fell into the Loser's Bracket late in the shoot and then was beat there.  Had I won the one game I played in the Loser's Bracket I would have advanced to the finals next round and had a chance but as it happens I did not.  More on that in a bit.

The highlights of the evening included a couple of nice outs, a couple of Ton-40's (one in warm up), and a really nice 85.9 PPR 01 game. But really, it was kind of a flat evening.

The format was the same as last time: two brackets, a winners bracket and a losers bracket. Winner's bracket matches are best of three, in this order: SIDO 401, Cricket, corker's choice of those two.  The Losers Bracket was a single leg of corker's choice between those same two games.

My first match was against a great player and a nice guy named Doug. I won this match 2-1 and here is how it went. We started with 401 as per the rules in which my scores were 85, 28, 140, 100, 48 Out, in that order for a 14 dart game.  I was quite happy with my opening performance and to boot, the out was a double-double.  I was going to go S16, D16, but missed into the D16. I then hit the D8 on my next dart for the game:



Then we played Cricket and he utterly destroyed me. I threw a 1.8 and he threw a 4.2.  It was a no contest win for him.  In fact, after the match he remarked that it was his best game ever. Given how high caliber of a player he is I doubt that's true.  I won the cork for the rubber match and was not about to play him in Cricket again so I chose 401 (with a cheeky "Good choice" from my opponent) and, while I won that game taking out D8, it was not a remarkable game.  The out was also sloppy: I had 35 remaining, missed the S3 into the D3, hit the S13 pretty square, and then missed the D8 outside.  I did hit the D8 with my first dart next round though. Regardless, I won the match leaving me in the Winners Bracket.

My next match was against Lyle, who is one of the nicest guys in the league, and a formidable opponent to say the least. I happened to win this match 2-0 but I don't think it was because I was throwing well, I think it was because Lyle didn't bring his A Game that he is known for. The first game, 401, was unremarkable for both of us with the exception of my out.  I had 92 remaining and hit T20, missed the D16 outside blocking the double pretty thoroughly, and then managed to hit the D16 with a blockade runner shot.  The Cricket game was a luck win for me as I had four completely dead rounds.  Nonetheless, I remained in the Winner's bracket after this match.

My next match was against Joe, the eventual winner of the shoot.  He beat me 2-0 but I could have, and should have, won both of these games.  In the 401 neither of us were on fire and I missed 5 darts at the double ring to lose.  I had 152 left and hit a ton, leaving 52.  Then I hit S20 and missed outside the D16 twice.  Next round I missed inside D16, then missed inside D8, then missed inside D4.  I didn't get anymore chances.  In the end of the cricket game we traded missing bulls for several rounds before I lost.  This is when I knew something was wrong with my mental game.  I was losing steam. I am normally solid on bulls and not too shabby on finishing and to lose both of these B League caliber games was a sign I was not as steely-minded as I should have been.  This loss knocked me into the Losers Bracket. 

My one game in the Losers Bracket was against Keith.  A tough opponent.  His confidence is rock solid which I find admirable.  He won the cork (I choked on the cork badly) and he chose Cricket, which was a strategic choice on his part, and a good one.  "I've been watching you," he told me by way of explaining he choice of Cricket.  This was a nice nod of respect from him and I appreciated it.  I liked him before, but I like him even better now.  He won handily. At this point I was barely putting up a fight.  I tried each round but as I retrieved my darts and walked back to behind the oche I remember thinking: "I don't care if I win. How is that possible?"  But it was true.  For the first time in a long time I was content to see my opponent win, and I was genuinely happy for him when he did.

That was all she wrote for me.  I was out of the shoot and heading home before the winner even won. And good on him when he did.  I was throwing my 19 gram Accudart Cricket's (ironically named, for me anyway) wearing Volute points, #6 Cosmo Carbon stems, and Shape Fit Flight Airs:


In the last analysis: I lost because I flagged.  I ran out of steam and my steely-mindedness left me before the shoot was done. Granted I had a stroke nine days prior (a TIA, actually), and my arm was tireder than I expected, and my energy level was low but that is no excuse.  When you show up at a shoot, you show up.