Thursday, October 08, 2009

Good In, Good Out, Ugly Night

My second week in the season (almost a full week ago now) blew major chunks overall. My performance was poor to say the least and for the first time in a long long time I felt something insidious creeping into my game: Doubt. I felt it very saliently at one point in the night and at that moment, which was a moment of frightening clarity, I realized that I had been more or less coasting through the day (and lately in my life in general) in a state of... well I am not sure how to describe it... certainly not denial or anything like that, but at the very least I have let my guard partially down against those things which will dull your mental edge. Doubt in other words. Perhaps it is work. I have an awesome job that love but I have been putting in so may hours lately and stressing during s many of them that this might have played part in my recent demise.

Time to get mentally tough again.

Back to the night. We hosted the Knarr-cosis team at Coopers and did well against them overall. We took 14 off them out of 25 and that was nice, especially against the really high quality throwers they have, but I feel that I did not contribute significantly to the win. I lost all of my singles, and I was not involved in too many winning doubles games. The highlight of the night for me was my 109 in (32, 20, 57) in one of the 501's and in a different 501 a 110 out (20, 60, 30).

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

170-In (in practice)

Well what do you know about that? While throwing darts in my garage the other day I had spectacular showing of good hits and low(ish) dart games and the crowning achievement was this here pictured 170-in. This is a first for me, ever, and I often fantasize about pulling one of these off in competition. The game that this throw started did not end spectacularly at all, in fact it was completely unrememberable but the start was a nice highlight of my evening.

The darts I was using are the darts I used to hit my first ever competition 180 (previous post) and they are the 21 gram Cootes.

Someday I am going to hit a 170-in in competition. I can say this with authority because I always try for it even though maybe I should not be and maybe by always doing so I am cheating my teammates a little bit. Is this possible? Let me explain what I mean. As a member of a darts team, or any team for that matter one is expected to eschew personal glory in favor of making decisions and throwing at numbers that will better increase the chances of a in. The classic example of this is: Player A is at 131 points. He hits a single 2 and then a triple 20 with his first two darts leaving 51 with one dart in his hand. What does he do? Does he go for another single 20? If he hits it he gets a ton which is added to his "all star" points (personal glory) but he leaves his partner a 31 out. Or does he go for a single 19? Hitting it would leave his partner a nice 32 out but with 99 scored in a round he would not be able to all to his all star points?

I am the guy that goes for the 19. Not the 20. I am not that big a prick, and I am a good team player (in fact I was the captain for years) and so I have always had a very strong 'advance the team' mentality. But then how do you explain that I have at least one selfish dart in every 01 game whether it is a singles match or a doubles match? When I m trying to get on in a DIDO game my first dart is always, always, at the double bull. Hit or miss I do not spend any more at all trying to get on this way. My pattern is that I throw the first dart at the double bull. If I m so lucky as to have a hit I'll go for the triple 20 on the next two darts (like in my garage the other day!!) If I miss, my second dart goes at the double 20, if I miss then the third dart also goes double top. If I do not get on in my first round, then I go double 16 next round till on, and if that doesn't work I go double 11 until I am on no matter how many rounds. So this one selfish dart is all I afford myself during any given 01 game.

And I am at peace with that ;)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

As Stoked As It Gets

Last Thursday, during the first match of the Fall 2009 A League season, during my first singles 301 game in fact, I hit the very first Maximum I have ever hit in competition. I could NOT be more stoked.

That hit carried me all night. Don't get me wrong I did not falter after that. I went on to collect a modest 520 all star points with a ton-40 and two more tons but the elation that that maximum carried with it stayed with me. I was cloud-nined for the rest of the match. I hope this stroke of happy play heralds in a very successful season for me. I have to say I have been more feeling like practicing lately on account of it so maybe this will be a case of success breeding success. Life tends to be that way after all. Winners become more winnerly and losers have a tendency to wallow in their loserness too much and so it may be with dart play as well.

I will practice and do well this season. Maybe hit some more maximums!

Thursday was fun for many reasons. Here is how the night went for me: we started the match with the team game, I didn't hit anything spectacular during the game but I was happy to hit the winning double for a nice opening win for our team. We then launched into the singles 301 games which is my favorite, and I won mine, hitting a maximum to leave 32, and taking that out a round or two later. This win was against a true gentleman, who borrowed me his phone to take a picture of the maximum, and is the only person I know who likes Eagles (the majestic bird, not the band) as much as I do. Despite my very unprofessional action of pausing the game to take a picture, he (I think) still likes me.

I played two more singles games but they were both cricket. I lost a point war, just barely, to Jim Carsner, and then won a low scoring cricket game (just barely) against Paul. In doubles I fared okay, picking up a ton-40 and two tons along the way but I do not remember the specifics of the games. I know I ended up 3 for 3 in them. Could be better, and against the very dangerous team we were up against, it certainly could have been worse. Our team lost the match 11-14 but I was happy to pick up that many games against a team that will in all likelihood make it to the playoffs (if not the finals).

Over all good opening night for the season.

Saturday, September 19, 2009 Surprise!

I was delighted to receive a copy in the mail of the most recent issue of which is a print darts mag out of the UK. It was sent to me by a blog fan in Portugal named Vasco. Thanks Vasco! The reason he sent it to me has to do with a small snippet on page 17 that mentions my blog.

I read through the magazine page by page and I found it to be fantastic. What a great mag. It looks like it'll be a terrific was to keep up on what is going on in the UK premiere and pro levels. Not to sound unrefined or blue collar or anything but the best part was the article between pages 56 and 61. Pick up a copy and see what I mean. I hope she really is into darts although it seems too good to be true. But what the hell. Hope has kept me alive for 30-plus years so who am I to argue.

Also cool is all the ads for the darts and darts equipment. Dart geeks like me like to see whats new and this mag has a good amount of it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

21 gram Unicorn Adrian Lewis Contenders - SOLD

SOLD! So another victim of the Purge is pictured below. The Lewis darts which I recieved in trade several months ago have found a newer better home where they might actually get some air time.

I think I would have liked these darts quite a bit more had they been just a little bit more on the short side. I threw them for a very short while and never in league. One of the characteristics that I really do like about them is the width of the grooves near the front of the barrel which is where I go my primary gripping. While this may not be my favorite dart that I have ever thrown, I am certaily glad that it passed through my collection even if in a highly transient manner. It is good to get to know the different darts out there and also it is nice to feel the darts in your hands that the top ranking pro's use. It is like having an exact replica of Ichiro's bat for example.

SOmetimes I wonder if it would not be a good idea to keep a set of Phil Taylor's current preferred dart on hand even if it is not my style dart. That way if I ever get itchy fingers and start feeling the call of the online dart stores I can pick them up, throw my 26, and think to myself: "If Phil were throwing these that would have been a maximum." Why you ask? What better reminder is there that it is not in the darts, but in the thrower.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A New High In

My previous high in was 140. This occurred on 5-11-08 during the Sunday Luck at Coopers. It ended up being a 24 dart game, and a win. However, last Thursday at Murphy's pub I had a fine 142 in against Dart Dwarf. I think I'll update my side bar :)

A Semi-Fine Night

Cocodarts (that is my current team name) opened up a few cans of whoop-ass this Thursday during the A-League Spring 2009 semi-finals match. We won 13-7 which is a greater margin than I would have expected considering we were up against a very high caliber team in the Aucham's Razor. AR (as we call them) is a fine team full of really terrific people. Anyone of them I would be happy to call a teammate in the future because they are all good people and they all take the sport as seriously as I do. Especially Paul with whom I share an affinity for Eagles (Eagle Scout that I am).

The above pic was taken in my garage a long time ago. It was a fine moment for me although it occurred in practice and while I was alone. On Thursday however, I repeated the feat (a 142-In: double 22, triple 20, triple 20) during my second singles 301 game against AR's captain (Dart Dwarf). That game was a modest ten dart game for me: 142, 59, 60, 40 (first dart) but it made me feel good, and it fueled my team's desire to win. I also had a very enjoyable cricket game against Paul. I was out of the gate early forcing him to chase most of the game, until I couldn't hit my 15's. He killed the 15's forcing me to point him elsewhere (20's) and then once I finally got my 15's he killed the Bulls (as he always does). I did barely beat him though, but it turned into a minor point war and got my heart racing a little bit (which I like).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Purge Has Begun

I have always believed (at least) two things about myself unshakably: Generally: when it comes to possessions I am a minimalist at heart and I find myself to be a happier person when I feel that there is little-to-no clutter in my life. And Specifically: I am not a collector of dart "stuff" and I do not own or buy things just for the sake of owning them. It is enough for something to be interesting and fun without having to actually own it. That is to say: I can (read 'should') appreciate the beauty of a flower without having to pick it.

Thus you can imagine my dismay when I realized I'd collected over 70 sets of darts in just a few short years and a bunch of other dart crap on top of that. I have sets of darts that not only do I never use them, I do not even like them. How did this come to pass? As a person who ostensibly values experience over possession to find myself in such a situation is embarrassing and quite contrary to my own self image. Thus it is finally time to do something about it.

Fire Sale!

Not really. But I am selling off most of my collection, slowly and intelligently. I am trying to find good homes for some of my more interesting sets and I am willing to part with almost everything except for a few custom sets I have had made, some darts which were gifts, and one or two others that are sentimental. Thus, if you see anything on this blog that you think you might like to buy please let me know and I'll indicate whether I'd be willing to sell it or not.

I currently have several sets on ebay (just look for therealzeeple) and I am listing items for sale through SEWA as well. Additionally, I'll be trying, attempting, intending, to maintain this informative post as well:

Dart Bloat

After all, I do want the memories, right?

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Grip

I would describe my grip as a three finger grip, with the first finger (middle finger) straddling the point where the point enters the barrel of the dart. in other words, my middle finger is usually (depending on the dart) half on the point, half on the barrel. With very very short barrels, like my Nobu's, the finger is completely on the point of the dart, where with longer barrels I have found that my finger stays right on the end of the barrel without touching the point at all. The second and third fingers are more or less parallel near the back of the barrel. For this reason I lean toward barrels that are neither too long nor too short (one exception being the Nobu's) with front and back grippage. Knurling and grooves mid barrel or on the front half of the barrel do me no good really as my fingers almost never come into contact with it. Here is my grip:

I have been known to alter my grip somewhat depending on the barrel. My 15 gram Featherlight's for example are short with an absence of back barrel grippage. Thus I have moved my back two fingers up to mid barrel which makes for something of a tight and pinched grip, providing the feeling of "pulling" the dart behind my hand before the release. Instead of "holding" the dart, which is the feeling I prefer.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More Great Darts from Jeff Pickup

I got an email recently from our favorite dart maker north of the border which included some really nice looking darts. Jeff Pickup never ceases to amaze me with his fine craftsmanship. First, the goods:

Now, if you are interested in any of these darts, I encourage you to contact Jeff yourself for prices and customization. After all, customs are really his forte, and he has an uncanny knack for giving you what you ask for.

If you wanna order darts from him, you can send him an email here to ask about pricing: Email Jeff and ask about prices!