Monday, December 30, 2019

My Tiny GT Collection

Here are the few GT's I currently have.  There have been others over the years but I have traded away or sold some.


From Left to Right:

Bottelsen GT, 28 grams.  This is the first "expensive" set of darts I ever bought and they have a lot of sentimental value even if I almost never throw them anymore. I bought them brand new in 2003 (ish), and they were already threaded for the tiny 6ba stems.

Custom (Jeff Pickup) 26 gram Copper Tungsten dart modeled on the GT. I call them my "CT's". The back end takes Bottelsen's GT screw-in stems, and the point is fixed. 

Bottelsen GT, 23 grams. These darts are old enough that they do not have the threading in the stem end.  I used my repointing tool to install some Voks stems that they use on their "Javalin" line of darts.  They fit almost perfectly.  They are just barely tight enough that I needed to use the repointer to get them in there.

Bottelsen Ringed GT, 23 grams. This is a special dart.  I have only rarely seen ringed GT's.  This one is old enough that there is no threading in the back end.  I have thought about refitting them with Voks stems, but I do not want to take the chance that the tungsten would crack.

Bottelsen Superalloy GT, 17 gram. I love this dart.  A bit on the fat side, and 2ba threaded, but I could throw it all day long.  I have taken it to league nights and done well with it there too.

Voks Javalin, Steel, 17 grams.  This is one of my very few non-standard material darts.  It is made from steel (as opposed to tungsten or brass) and is quite light for the size.

Others that I have had in my collection include another custom fixed-point, nickel tungsten 25 gram GT, a 27 gram Bottelsen GT3, and a 24 gram GT that was both ringed and knurled!  Sadly I no longer have any of those :(

Friday, December 20, 2019

r/Darts Challenge #48

I m definitely a late-comer to reddit, and really I got into it due to needing an online community for work issues.  Then I discovered r/Darts.  Not bad.  I do not contribute much but it is fun to peruse.  One of the best things I have found is the weekly challenges. What a nice way to mix up the nightly practice routine!  Instead of just constantly working through the doubles in various ways, you get to aim at segments you do not normally aim for, and work towards a (hopefully unusual) goal.  It somewhat gamifies practice.

The one I found yesterday is #48 (and believe me when I say I'll be seeking out the other 47 :)  The challenge is to hit 3 marks in the 14, five marks in the 18, and seven marks in the 13.  I got the first two quickly, and then proceeded to improve on them as I tried for the seven marks in the 13.  I worked at it for quite a while and eventually was able to get seven marks in each number, but not the nine I was hoping for!

I upgraded my three in the 14's to seven:

I upgraded my five in the 18's to seven:

Seven in the 13's:

The darts I was using were the 19 gram Accudart Crickets with #6 Fit Flight stems and slim Fit Flight Airs.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Double Doubles Trick

Tonight while doing a round of doubles practice I hit two instances of a doubles trick.  The practice routine I was doing was doubles only, numeric order ascending, and one dart per double.  The first trick was D1, D2, D7, and the second trick was D14, D15, and D16.  I have been hitting the doubles more consistently since switching away from incorporating the triple 20 into practice.



The darts I was using are the 19 gram Accudart Crickets with #6 carbon Fit Flight stems and slim Fit Flight Airs.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Dead Eye!

For the second time in my life I have hit a Dead Eye.  It came during a practice session in my freezing cold garage.  I got tired of missing the Double 2 dart after dart and took a chuck at the bull and what do you know?  Three in the middle :)



The darts are my 19 gram Accudart Crickets wearing #6 carbon Fit Flight stems and slim Fit Flight Airs. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

19 gr Accudart Cricket

An absolutely sweet little dart.  This is a 19 gram version of Accudart's steel tip Cricket line.  I love these little darts.  I have been using them a lot lately and I am looking forwards to trying them out in a competitive scenario.  It feels like forever since I have played a match against anyone!  I have been experimenting with the best stem and flight combo for them as well.  In the first photo below you can see I have settled on #6 Fit Flight Carbon stems and Shape Fit Flight Airs.  I also put in some black Volute points when I am quite taking a liking to.



The knurl is quite grippy.  Some knurls are smooth and even slippy (like the Harrows Boxers) but the knurl on these darts have bite, which is nice.


I am not sure how I feel about the trend towards clamshell packaging for darts.  It seems to cheapen the product some in my opinion, but it is not only Accudart doing this.  All the dart makers are utilizing clamshelling for at least some of their product lines these days.  I have seen it with Bottelsen and with Unicorn (I think) and others.  I guess the idea is that they want to sell their stuff in big box stores where they would be hanging on hooks (thus the hook-hole at top).  I have to admit, in my early days of this hobby I spent a lot of time staring at the various Halex darts hanging in their clam shells in Fred Meyers and other places that sell low end sporting equipments.  It wasn't until I was thoroughly hooked that I started perusing the high end sets on websites.


I notice in the picture that you can see on the back of the clamshell packaging that there is a Cricket dart with a more conical nose and a different striping pattern.  I am guessing that Accudart made several darts in this line in different weights and styles.  I'd love to see them all but it is hard to find their old catalogs online anywhere and since they stopped making this dart information is simply impossible to find on it.


On the whole, this is a terrific dart, one which I will continue to throw in practice and in competition.  As they are currently dressed, they are wearing medium length Twin-Grip nylon stems and slim poly flights.  I had them dressed as such originally so that flights would match the color scheme of the darts but as I have become highly enamored of the Fit Flight system I will probably get some #6 carbon stems and some red slim Fit Flight Airs to go with them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

MDCQL #2

Last night's Metro Darts Club Qualifier match was one terrific evening out for me in terms of darts.  I won the match 5-0, taking all five sets and only dropping four legs out of the 19 total that we played.  But the goodness started early on.

I got there early.  I played a full round of doubles, and resisted very strongly throwing any warm up darts at the Triple 20.  I did the doubles in numerical order, ascending, and allowed only one dart at each double per round.  Moving on whether I hit it or not, and coming back to the misses in subsequent rounds.  I went from D1 to D20 in the space of about 20 minutes this way and ended the warm up session with a hat trick.  I was happy and I felt prepared, despite the slight butterflies I was feeling before the match (which I seem to always feel).

As I was sitting waiting for my opponent to show I was approached by the president of the other league I participate in who wanted to give me a prize I was owed for hitting a Ton-80 in B League last year.  He offered me the choice of pin or patch, and of course, being the Eagle Scout that I am, I chose the patch without hesitation.

I knew my opponent that night would be a challenge as he won his last match in straight sets, 5-0, and has been playing for quite a long time.  A good 11 years longer than I, as it turns out. He is a good person, an experienced player, and he loves darts just as I do.  I expected it to be a good match.  As it turns out I was throwing quite well, much better than I normally throw, I think, and won handily.

Here are the highlights of the evening: a 5-0 win in sets, and 15-4 in legs. A Ton-80 (my 52nd lifetime), a total of 15 points remaining in my 4 losses (no blow outs), I had the high turn (180), high out (70), and high PPR (75.2).  Also, I hit 2,851 in tonnage (3,231 if you count 95's, which I usually don't).  Lastly, and I am not sure if the league counts this or not, I hit a 140-on which is probably the highest for the qualifier league, but I do not know if I'll get a patch for that (I fucking better, hahaha).

As for my four losses last night, they were all pretty similar.  In each I had a low number remaining when my opponent took out his double (2, 4, 5, 4) and so it is safe to say that my losses were all due to an inability to finish.  On the whole, though, my finishing last night was quality.

I am very happy with last night's match.

I only brought a single set of darts with me on the theory that having another set of darts to fall back on allows me to ignore bad form.  If I think: "that was a bad visit, I'll switch to my other darts next turn" then I am not addressing a failure in mechanics that is what is almost certainly what caused the bad visit in the first place.  I think I am going to keep this practice up.  The darts I chose for last night's match were the 22 gram One80 Revenges, dressed in #4 carbon Fit Flight stems and standard Fit Flights.

52nd Maximum

My 52nd lifetime Ton-80 came in competition last night during my second Metro Darts Club Qualifier League match:


Of course, for transparency's sake I must admit that that photo is a "dramatic recreation" of the actual maximum as I forgot to take a picture of the actual one during the match.  But I do believe I captured the entry angles and spacing accurately enough :)

The darts I was using were my 22 gram One80 Revenges wearing #4 carbon Fit Flight stems and and standard Fit Flights.  This is quite a good combo, me thinks.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

MDCQL #1

Last night was my first match in the Metro Darts Club Qualifier League.  Where to begin?

First I must say that I like it a lot better than Team League in a few ways and less than Team League in a few ways too.  In fact I think it felt a lot more like an A League match than anything as it was just me against one other guy and the competition was strong.  In fact, what I like most about it is the fact that I am the source of my own victories and losses, and I do not have a partner or a team garnering any for me. One on one. The evening is more focused, and we never have to wait for a board during the match so the evening goes a lot faster.  We started at 6:38 and ended at 8:58 making it a 2 hours and 20 minutes match.

Whats missing though is the team camaraderie.  You feel a little bit alone.

Last night was a loss.  I played against Keith, who as it turns out, is a great shot, and one of the better Cricket players in B League.  I don't recall him ever beating me in regular league but he did last night, just barely.  Even though I lost the match 3-2, I feel I threw some great darts last night, and in a few ways I actually out-performed my opponent.  Alas, his finishing was slightly, slightly, better earning him the match win.

Highlights: I had the high out (68), the High PPR (68.3), the higher match PPR (53.5), and I even out scored him in raw points (9,921 - 9,764).  I scored 2,213 Glory points (but no maximums) to his 2,226.

At the highest level it was a match loss for me at 2-3.  At the game level it was also a loss at 10-11. When you look at it that way, and you look at how many games were close in score, and look at how closely we matched each other in other categories, it would seem that Keith and I were quite evenly matched.  Based on our B League standings, tho, I think Keith was playing above his normal game while I was playing at, or slightly below my normal game.

It might be a bit tedious to go through and analyze each of the 21 games we played, but at least here is an analysis of why I lost the games I lost:

The first set I won 3-0.

The second set I lost 1-3. The first loss was due to missing the D12 when I had my shot at it. I hit the D9 leaving 6 and missed that with my last dart.  I never had another chance. The second game he was 200 points ahead of me early on but when I caught up I missed a shot at 60-out leaving 14 but did not have another shot at it. In the third loss of the second set I had 40 left when he still had 133 but I missed inside twice leaving 10, then missed it with all three darts, then cut it down to 4. While my finishing was suffering in this manner he caught up and won.

I won the third set 3-2. The first loss was a good game for both of us.  I averaged 63 and he averaged 62.6. My only shot at the out was a 125 but I could only whittle it down to 60 before he won. In the second loss I missed a 76 out to leave 40, then whittled that down to 32 before he won.

The fourth set I lost 2-3.  The first two losses I never made it to an out.  I still had 206 left in the first loss, then in the second I hit a ton to reduce my score to 124 before he won. In neither game did I ever through at the double ring. The third loss was a case of suffering finishing.  I had 46, hit the fat 6 to leave 40 and missed high with the last two darts, then somehow, and I don't even remember how, I score 17 to leave 23 and then he won next visit.

The fifth set I lost 1-3.  I must have been flagging a bit.  In the first game I had 82 left and I score 37.  I am pretty sure I aimed at the 50 and missed wide but I don't remember where. Then, I hit the fat 5 to leave 40 and proceeded to miss high with the next 5 darts before Keith won.  The second game was more of the same. We both started strong.  He hit the back to back to back tons and I hit two tons, but then, with 50 left (again I am certain I aimed at the 50 for the glory win) I score 34 to leave 16 and missed the 16 outside for 9 darts in a row.  My finishing absolutely suffered. The third loss, and my final loss of the evening was also a good showing for both of us.  I averaged 60.9 and he averaged 65.3; I hit two tons, he hit a 135, and a 140.  In the end though, I never had a shot at the double ring. I was able to reduce 175 to 75 with my last ton and he took it out next visit.

I will say this for my opponent: he did not allow my finishing to suffer.  I had very few shots at the double ring on the games I lost.  His finishing was usually pretty spot on.  However, looking at my losses, I will say that 7 of the 10 were losses because I could not finish.  I kept up in tonnage, mostly, but not with finishing.

My go to darts last night were these two sets:


My 19 gram Nobu's wearing size 6 carbon Fit Flight stems and slim Fit Flight Air flights.  This was a nice set up and the darts flew pretty well for me last night.  The other set was 24 gram Designa Dark Thunder wearing medium length standard Condor onesies.  Next week I am thinking of trying a single match set with a more outlandish correction set.  Maybe the Jenkins wearing the same stem and flight combo that the Nobu's were wearing tonight, and a fat Nickel-Silver set?

We'll see :)

Monday, December 02, 2019

Map Pin Tracking System

Traffic in Seattle has always been bad.  It has gotten a lot worse over the decades, but I do not remember a time that it was not very bad here.  The east side of the metro area (Bellevue) is separated from the west side of the metro area (Seattle) by a giant lake called Lake Washington with only two ways across it: the 520 floating bridge, and the I-90 floating bridge.  Traffic on them is still bad but a good ten years ago, before various improvements were made to them, traffic across these two bridges was absolutely atrocious, with I-90 being only slightly better of the two.  The funniest PNW-specific bumper sticker I have ever seen said:

"I-90 Is for Pussies"

Of course I saw it on a car on the 520 floating bridge. Funny not only because I-90 was nearly as bad as 520, but also because what a thing to stake your pride to!  Your pride in taking the worse of the two bridges is so strong that you bear a bumper sticker emasculating those that take the easier bridge???

Anyway.  That's kind of how I feel about number rings on dartboards.  Learn your numbers people.

But that isn't what this post is about.  I have a fairly complex map pinning system that I use on my dartboard and on the surround around it to help track where I am with my favorite practice routine: Modified Rotational Doubles.  From afar you can only barely make out the various pins:


First the reason most of the pins are on the surround is because they make up my system for reminding me what the various colored pins mean, and never have to be moved.  Since I rotate my board frequently, if I had most of the static pins in the board itself I'd have to move them every time I rotated the board.  Incidentally, this is also why I ditched my number ring years (and years) ago.  I have known the numbers so long that I have ceased to actually need the ring, and moving it every time I rotated the board became tedious.  Also, the logos are a distraction.  When I get into the dartboard business, I will create a quality bladed board that has no branding on the front of the board, and any branding I do will be on the backside, or the round edge of the board.

Anyway, this system I have is designed such that I can walk away from a practice session at any point and come back later, even weeks later, and know exactly where I left off.  The different colored pins map out the process of working through a 5-Circuit Modified Rotational Doubles.  I have no idea how long it would take to do the full five circuits because this is a practice routine that I do in bits and pieces.  It can stretch on for weeks.

This system has two sets of pins: pins that are on the dartboard itself, and pins that are on the surround.  The pins on the dartboard move from throw to throw (potentially), while those on the surround are static (never move).  The Map Pin System (MPS) is also color coded:

  1. Green: used to track Circuit 1: progression through the doubles, clockwise, starting with 1
  2. Red: used to track Circuit 2: progression through the doubles, counterclockwise, starting with 20
  3. Yellow: used to track Circuit 3: progression through the doubles numerically ascending, starting with 1
  4. Blue: used to track Circuit 4: progression through the doubles numerically descending, starting with 20
  5. White: used to track Circuit 5: progression through doubles in order of potency (detailed below)
  6. Pink: used to track whether my first dart is aimed at the bull or the triple 20.
  7. Orange: used to mark three random doubles (not a part of rotational doubles)
  8. Purple: used to mark three random triples (not a part of rotational doubles)
The static pins placed in the surround serve as reminders for the sequence.  Not just the sequence of doubles within the various circuits, but the sequence of the circuits themselves.  At the very top of the surround I have one pin of each of these five colors: green, red, yellow, blue, white. These five pins tell me the order I go through the various circuits of doubles.  Once I am done with the Green Circuit (going around the board clockwise) then I progress to the Red Circuit (going around the board counterclockwise). 


Then, perhaps more importantly, I have three of each of the five colors positioned outside various doubles, and these are always the first three doubles of the circuit.  So for example:
  • Green: 1, 18, 4
  • Red: 20, 5, 12
  • Yellow: 1, 2, 3
  • Blue: 20, 19, 18
  • White: 16, 8, 4

Knowing the first three numbers in any given sequence is enough to tell me what the entire sequence is.  1, 18, 4, ... logically means I progress around the board clockwise, for example.  The only color which is non-obvious based on the first three is the White Circuit.  It is obvious to me because I know that sequence backwards and forwards, after all, I have been throwing that sequence for years in doubles practice. But it at least tells me that it is the potency sequence, even if the sequence of the doubles within it must come from my memory (or this blog, haha).

The pins in the dartboard itself all move from turn to turn or from circuit to circuit.  The pink pin, for example, is only moved between circuits because MRD calls for aiming the first dart at either the bull or the treble 20 for the entirety of the circuit.  The pink pin is placed under the 'B' (in Bandit) if I am aiming for the Bull that circuit, or it is placed under the 'T' (in The) if I am aiming for the triple 20 during that circuit.  So while it does not move frequently, it does move. 


The cluster of pins behind the DMI logo are all the pins that are waiting for their turn.  The only pin going from double to double around the board during the MRD practice session is one of the five circuit colors (red, green, yellow, blue, or white), and it gets placed by the double which I am aiming at that turn.  If I hit it, I move the pin to the next double in the sequence.  The exception is the three orange pins and the three purple pins which I use during a completely different doubles (or triples) practice routine.  With them, essentially I use 20-sided dice to determine three random numbers and the pins either go in the doubles (the orange pins) or the triples (the purple pins) of those numbers.


So there you have it.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Happy Ending for an Unhappy Dart

Back in the early days of my darting life, in the early aught's, as they are called, there were fewer online options for darts, fewer companies selling them (I think) and darts were a hell of a lot less, well, blingy.  But even in those days there were the highly regarded "expensive" darts that everyone more or less fantasized about having.  For us, those were the Bottelsen GT Hammerhead, the Laserdarts Black Widows, and the Laserdarts Black Eagles.  All were in the neighborhood of about $150 at the time, if I recall correctly.

Years passed, and then one night a teammate shows up to league sporting a set of Black Eagles.  I was impressed and envious at the same time.  After the match was over he let me throw them some and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't miss.  I didn't hit a Ton-80 or anything, but I do know I hit mostly anything I aimed at.  In fact, my memory may be a bit hazy on this but I am about 80% certain that my very first dart was aimed at, and hit, the inner bull.

I bought a set the very next day.

Years more passed.  The Black Eagles served me well for quite a long time but eventually my finicky dart preferences moved on to other sets in my collection and the Eagles got shelved. But then more or less on a whim, in October 2019, I break them out again and take them to Monday Night league where two things happen:  I hit a Ton-80 with them, and then later in the evening, one bounces out, hits the floor, and the stem snaps off right at the barrel, leaving the threaded portion inside and nothing to grip to turn it out.

This is not an uncommon occurrence.  Stem breakage is a fact of life for the darts aficionado, and we all (most of us anyway) carry a tiny tool called a stem extractor to remove those pesky broken stems from threaded darts, like this one:


I've never had it not work before when needed, so I was surprised this time when it couldn't even gain purchase in the broken stem.  It was like trying to dig into hard glass or something.  So I reverted to a few other ideas that I have known about but never really had to use.  My next attempt at extracting the stem was to superheat a tiny screwdriver and insert it into the stem, let it cool and then unscrew the stem like any regular screw.

No love.  All I accomplished with that tiny screwdriver was to chew up the middle of the stuck stem.  The stem itself refused to budge.  So my next move was to  go online for advice, and the good folks over at Dartsnutz.net had plenty of suggestions, including this:


The L-Style Bull Extractor.  I bought one and tried it, but while I do not doubt that it is a fine stem extractor (after all, it is highly lauded), it did not work in my case.  In fact, it basically hollowed out the stem as you can see in the photo above, and that left me with a quandary.  So then I thought, "okay, what I need is a screwdriver that is the exact width, minus maybe a hair, of the inside of the dart's stem hole.  I did my best to measure it and it seemed to be about 4 mm.  I sought out my computer repair screwdriver kit and found a 3.5 mm and 4 mm.  The 4 mm was too tight a fit so I super-heated the 3.5 mm wide one, rammed it into the broken stem, let it cool and gave it a turn.  But again, no spinning, just more disintegration.

In the end I decided to drill it out with a 5/16th bit:

.

The bit seemed to fit in there almost perfectly, but I eased the drilling as much as I could be cause I was very worried about permanently ruining the threads of the dart.  After all, the darts are not just expensive, but at this point carry sentimental value for me as well.  It seemed to work though, and got out all of the material except for the plastic that was still in between the threads.

So I went online and bought a 2BA Taper Tap, and a Tap Wrench:


This set up is what I used to clean out the remaining plastic material. I honestly do not know why I have never bought one of these before, given my love of darts as a hobby.  You'd think I would have by now but I guess I never really needed one before this incident.


Worked like a charm:


The happy ending is of course that the Black Eagles came with me to Wednesday night league for the last match of the season and I won all but one of my games; scored a Hat Trick to win a Cricket game in spectacular fashion; and in general performed well.

The other happy ending here has to do with Cosmo, the maker of the stem that was broken off inside my dart.  Cosmo makes the Fit Flight line of stems and flights which I happen to be a big fan of. The fact that it was a Fit Flight stem broken off inside the barrel is immaterial (see what I did there?) because really any stem can snap off the way this one did.  The stem I was using may have been a tad more fragile for various reasons, but it is certainly not Cosmo's fault.  After all the stem was purchased at least 4 or 5 years ago so that could contribute. But also it was a mostly transparent stem, or at least translucent.  The reason this is relevant is because of the material needed to make a transparent stem.  A rep from Cosmo Europe hopped on the thread where this was being discussed and offered some insight into the change in materials (normal nylon cannot be made transparent).

Then, in an act of terrific generosity, sent me a replacement set of stems!  But not just any stems.  He sent me their new titanium stems which retail for about $85.  And this was despite my acknowledgment on the forum that Cosmo was in no way at fault for the random stem break!

I am very happy with Cosmo darts, and especially the rep from Europe who not only participates on dart forums but also engages in a friendly and generous manner with customers.

So there you go.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Happy Ending to League

Last night was the last match of Fall 2019 B League (at least for me - my team might play a make up match next week and I will not be on hand for it).  It was a great night form start to finish: I had a quality warm up game against a teammate with a 92 finish, I won most of my games in the match, even if I didn't have a single drop of tonnage, and after the match I proved the adage 'there's no music in a piano'.  I had a wonderful evening and it was a nice way to end my B League experience.  My team lost last night, but only barely, and it would have been our first and only match win had we won even one more game last night.  But alas.  I have been back in league for two full seasons now and my team has finished dead last both seasons, with only a single match win between them.  That's okay.  My goal was to have fun and raise my own game a little bit and I think I may have done both of those!

Here is how the night went:  When I arrived the only other player there was an opponent named Jeff, with whom I have shared a few non-standard games in the past, and I was hoping he'd be down for a game of Shove Ha'Penny or Golf or something but he just wanted to warm up.  Then my teammate Cory arrived and we played a couple of warm up games.  The first was a 21 darter for me in which all of my scores were at least 60, and which had a 92 finish (that you can see below) in the style of S20, T12, D18.  My first dart aimed at the double was a hit and that was happily more portentous than our next warm up game.  The next game we played I went 125, 100, 85, 43, ... and it went down from there.  We both ended up at double 1 and spent too many darts at it to count, and we ended up aborting the game because everyone else had arrived and needed to warm up.  Happily, that turned out to be the only instance of my finish truly suffering this evening.

 . 

Then the match started. I captained for the team last night since our normal captain was traveling. I played two singles games and won them both, and five doubles games and won four of them. The team game was also a win, making the evening one of my best in terms of personal win loss ratios, even if I was severely lacking in tonnage.

My first singles game was a 401 against their captain Ori, and I won, but only because I missed my out one fewer times than Ori.  It was middling scores all the way down. Once I was at 80, I went 20, 20, then missed the double 20 into the double 5 leaving 30.  Then I missed outside with all three darts next round, but hit the double 15 with my first dart next round.  I had four missed shots at a double but I do not think my finishing suffered, and while it was a B League caliber game, it was a happy win.

My second singles was a Cricket game against Bill, whom I will be seeing in Metro League soon.  I won the game handily.  I had a 2.5 average, no dead rounds, and I hit the bulls when I needed to, finishing them off in 2 rounds with an inner and an outer in the last two rounds of the game.

My first doubles was a 501 with Cory. Not a great game on my part. I ended up with 69 and left my partner with 32, which he halved next round. Then I missed the double 8 three times outside next round and then he took it out first dart his next visit.  Three misses is not suffering exactly, but who knows how that would have gone had he not hit it.  My next doubles was another 501 with Chris and this was my only loss for the night. I threw low scores all game until I hit a 94 to leave my opponent 44. He whittled that down to 20, which I missed outside with three darts.  Then he whittled it down more to 4, which I then missed outside with all darts.  Then we lost.  However, I will say my shots at those outs were close with every dart.  It did not feel like suffering at the time but by the numbers I have to admit it was.  My last doubles 501 was with Julia.  No tonnage, but the finish was nice.  I was left with 90. I missed the triple 20 into the single with my first and second darts, leaving 50, and then missed the inner bull game shot by several inches into the 17, leaving 33.  Next visit she whittled that down to 14, and I hit the double 7 with my first dart my next time up.  That was a nice little win for us.

Doubles Cricket went swimmingly.  My first was with Cory.  Not a single dead round between us, I hit one 5 mark round, and Cory went bull, double bull for the win in the last round.  Good stuff.  My last Doubles Cricket was with Chris and it was a thing of beauty. No dead rounds for either of us, and in my last visit I hit a Hat trick for the win.  It felt wonderful.  So wonderful, in fact, that I took a pic (below).  Happily, that wouldn't even be my best Hat Trick of the evening.


The team game was uneventful for me.  No tonnage, and when left with a 20 I could only whittle it down to 4, which Cory took out during his next visit.  However, that win in the team game was enough to allow us to lose the match by only one game.  We had already lost though, as we went into that game 9 to 11.  The final score sheet:


After the match a dude name Nate showed up and wanted to play a game so I obliged him.  We played no-slop, no-points cricket, 20-down.  I won that handily but throughout the game he was asking me a lot of questions like how to stand, the difference between darts, etc.  I explained to him that the dart itself makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.  He was throwing very, very cheap brass bar darts and I was throwing the 24 gram Laserdarts Black Eagles that I'd been leaning on all night.  $3 darts against $125 darts (which were wearing Fit Flights, adding to their value). But to emphasize my point about there being 'no music in a piano,' I swapped darts with him and said "Watch."  I then promptly threw another Hat trick (seen below) with the $3 bar darts.  He was impressed, and my point was not just made, but proven: the darts themselves don't matter.


It was a great way to end the season.  A wonderful night all around!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Steel Arrow

Just happened across this lovely blog with a lovely name:


There seems to be a lot of great content!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

51st Ton-80

I have thrown these darts quite a bit in the last month or so, including more than one instance in which they were the only darts I took with me to league.  Finally hitting a maximum with them after shying away from them a bit is a nice way to move past them a bit.


They are my 22 gram One80 Revenges, wearing tweenie Fit Flight stems and standard Fit Flights.

23 gram Elkadart Steve Beatons



Originally I thought these darts were Voks due to the spring loaded point. As it happens, tho, they probably are not.  One person at Dartsnutz.net believes they are Steve Beatons and this was seconded by someone who was selling a set on ebay and listed them as 

"MEGA RARE 23 GRAM ELKADART STEVE BEATON SPRING LOADED TUNGSTEN DARTS".

I don't know for sure but I am willing to go with that.  Of course, if something is listed as "mega rare" on ebay, that means it most certainly is not.  Still, other than my set, this is the only set of them I have ever seen.

As they are currently configured, they are wearing their original spring loaded steel tip point and medium length, standard condor stem-flights.

D1, D1, D1

A nice little Doubles Trick that occurred in last nights practice session:


You can see from the red pin above the double 1 that only the first and second darts were supposed to be aimed at it.  A red pin signifies that it was the last double in the counterclockwise doubles circuit.  After red, comes the yellow pin which means that I then work through the doubles in numerical order, ascending, which means that the second dart should also be aimed at the double 1.  Since I also hit that, on a lark I threw the third dart at it as well, hitting again, for a nice little Doubles Trick.

These came off the 22 gram Smart Darts, wearing tweenie pear Condors.  Between this and the recent maximum I hit with them, I am increasingly liking these darts!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tyrion, FTW

Last night we visited the Incredibulls at the Old Peculiar, and they did not fall short of their name.  They brought their A Game and won the match 16-5.  Two of those wins were very satisfying wins for me, but I must say, I felt like I was mostly throwing rubbish during the night.  The Incredibulls are a swell team full of nice people and I like them immensely.

Here is how the night went: I played two singles games and won one, I played four doubles games and won one, and we lost the team game.

My first singles game was a 401 against Tre.  It was an unremarkable, B-Leaguey kinda game, and I whittled my score down to zero with low numbers until I took out 39 for the win.  The one thing I am happy about with this game is that I hit the double 16 with my second dart at it.

My single Cricket match was against Tom, who is a swell darter.  We were both throwing well, but I could not overcome his dominant performance.  He opened with three 20's and I responded with three 19's.  Then he tripled in the 19's and score 40 points on me.  I chased him the rest of the game. I had one dead round and one 5 mark round but the rest was only average play.  In the end I hit the bulls when I needed to (with a single and a double in two rounds), but then so dis he.  He won 212 to 160, but had he not also been hot on bulls that would have been a nice win for me for sure. 

My first doubles match was a 501 with Julia and we lost.  This was not a bad effort at all. I had back to back tons within it, and then when left 80 by my partner I went 20, 20, and then missed the double 20 inside to leave 20, but my partner never had a shot at it as they took out their own 20 to win in the next turn. My other doubles 501 was with Chris, also a loss.  The game consisted of middling scores, and I had one shot at a 72 out but could only reduce it to 20 before the other team won.

My first doubles Cricket was with Cory and it was a highly satisfying win. It was a point war between their 20's and our 18's.  I never had a dead round in the match and I also only had one round in which I hit fewer than 2 marks.  Several triples and 4 mark rounds and in the end I did not miss the bulls.  My last dart was a double bull for the win and the final score was 428 to 340.

My last doubles Cricket was with Dani, and it was a loss. I hit mostly one and two marks and only had one dead round.  However, again, I was on target with the bulls, but it was not enough to win. They wrapped it up quickly and won 18 to 0.  The team game was rubbish.  I hit 21, 41, 21, 41 and then had a shot at the 34 for the win but missed outside with the first two darts and then wired it on the inside with the last, cutting it in half for my teammates. I never had another throw during that game.  Frustratingly, after the match I hit a spate of tons and ton-40's.  WTF?



The darts I used were the 22 gram One80 Revenges, which I have been favoring lately.  I am thinking about switching it up for next week.  Several times during the night I found myself wishing I'd brought more than one set of darts because sometimes your throw gets hinky and you want a couple of correction rounds.  Next week I'll bring more.  Maybe the Dark Thunder's and the Superalloy GT's. We'll see :)  Also, as you can see, the Revenges are sporting the new titanium spinners that Cosmo Darts sent me gratis recently.  They spin nicely and they are attractive to boot.


Also last night one of the opponents brought their dog, Tyrion, and he hung out on a nearby bench during the match.  A sweet, docile little fella.  He provided a much needed dog fix throughout the night as I lost my sweet girl over seven months ago.  Frequently between games (or even throws) I would sit on the bench next to him and pet him.  I wish I'd gotten a better pic!


Anyway.  My performance was lackluster last night (if I am being generous) but Tyrion and the good company of mine and the other team made it a good night.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

5 Count in Bulls

This is the closest I have come to a Deadeye in a long time.  This was actually my very first throw of the night during a team practice get together, and it came in the first throw of a Cricket match in which I decided, completely on a lark, to employ the Kristian Strategy.


I hit one or two other four counts in the bulls during the night, and at least once with two darts being in the inner bull.  Worth noting:  my opponent won the Cricket game by one point.  He was as on fire as I was.  It was one of the best Cricket games either of us had ever thrown.

This 5 Count came off my 22 gram One80 Revenges, configured with tweenie nylon Fit Flight stems and standard Fit Flight flights.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Embracing Cricket Chaos

I went to the Sunday Shoot at Kate's this week, which is a doubles blind luck event and got partnered with a guy that had a very unusual Cricket strategy.  I noticed during our first match.  I do not remember the exact circumstances of the game, but if I recall correctly, both I, and the other team, were following standard Cricket strategy where we start with the 20's and worry about not being behind in points.  However, when it was his turn he stepped up to the oche and completely disregarding the scoreboard proceeded to throw his three darts at the bull.  I thought it odd, and I assumed he was a novice player (not entirely true), and then suddenly felt like a rookie myself for not having bothered to discuss strategy with my partner before the shoot.

As it turns out I was in a funny mood.  My darts have not been flying well in the last couple of weeks anyway and I'd already committed myself to having fun, and not worrying too much about whether I win or not.  So I asked him: "Whatcha doin' with the bulls there?"  He proceeded to outline his strategy.  He doesn't panic if he gets too far behind in points because he knows that most people simply cannot hit the bull when they want to, and for the most part, at least in B League, this is certainly true. And it was mostly true on Sunday as well.  I chalked more than one utter painful Cricket match in which neither team could close their bulls round after round after round.  So I told him, "Okay.  Sound like a great plan." And we proceeded to employ exactly that strategy for the entire shoot.  It didn't always work, but mostly it did.  On two occasions our opponents decided to also hit the bulls early and when they did, we lost. 

The most noteworthy of those occasions is when we were in our playoff game for first place.  Corker's Choice was the theme of the day so when we lost the cork for the play off leg our opponents chose Cricket.  They opened the game with four 20's and I responded with three bulls. Once they caught wise to our strategy they quickly closed the bulls and we were unable to catch up to them in points (the lid being on our honey pot and all) and we lost the playoff leg.  But we won 2nd place and we were quite happy with it.

So there you have it.  I don't think I would ever employ this strategy on my own, especially not against a good player, but if I ever play with him again I most certainly will.  At first, momentarily, I resisted this strategy as a completely bad idea but once I embraced it, I embraced it fully and had fun with it.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

League Match Against 'Hot Durts'

League was pretty decent last night!  I dropped a couple legs but on the whole I was well pleased with the results. We visited Hot Durts in Redmond last night and the match was a loss at 13-8, but given how many good players they have I feel as a team we did okay.

I dropped one of my two singles legs, and one of my three doubles legs, and of course we did not win the team game which we started the evening with.  However, I opened the team game with a clean ton and followed that up with a 70 in my next turn, so that was a nice way to start the evening.  I had one shot at a 58 out which I flubbed.  I missed low into the 4 leaving 54, then next dart I aimed at the 14, but missed low (again) into the 11 leaving 43.  At this point I mathed wrong, unforgivably, and aimed at the 9, hitting it square to leave 34.  Had I been mathing better I would have aimed for the 11.  After that the other team took out their out before I had another shot at it.

My first singles leg was a 401 against Graham, who downright schooled me. He hit nearly 320 in tonnage early in the game leaving it 39 to 262 in his favor.  I hit a ton to nearly catch up, and ended up giving myself a shot at the out before the end. With 98 remaining I hit a 36 with my first dart leaving 62, then I hit a 12 with my second dart leaving 50, and missed the inner bull by mere millimeters leaving 25.  It was a nice effort but it fell short.  Next round I cracked the 25 with a 9 but missed two darts at the 16.  Next round I missed 3 darts at the 16.  Then he took out an 11 for the win.  My finishing suffered.  That could have been a nice come from behind victory.

My next singles leg was Cricket against Dave.  I hit one 5M round in the game, had two completely dead rounds, and in the end hit a bull, double bull to win the game with an 84 point lead.  It was a much needed win as it boosted my morale after that initial loss.

Doubles 501 were both wins.  My first leg was with Cory.  It was not a spectacular game but in the end, Cory left me a 140.  I hit a 100 to leave him 40.  My next turn up we still had 40 remaining and I hit it square with my first dart and it felt like a good solid, confident throw. Like a pro would do. That was the only instance in the evening of quality finishing on my part.  My next 501 leg was with Chris. I hit only low numbers in this game and my finishing also suffered.  My partner left me 85 and I hit 25 to leave 60.  Then he left me 40 and I hit 20, leaving 20 and then missed two darts at the double 10. On my next turn up we still had 20 and I missed inside twice leaving 5!  Miserable. On my next turn up we still had 5 remaining. I cracked it with a 1, and missed two darts at the double 2. Next round up I finally manage to hit that Double 2, but it took me all three darts to do it.  It was a win but my finishing suffered very badly.

Doubles Cricket was good on the whole, but I did lose one of them.  The first leg was with Julia and we both stepped up (eventually). I opened the game with a dead round.  She followed with a single bull.  So here we were two rounds in with no numbers hit and I thought for sure it was going to be a blow out loss for us. But then we both started hitting our numbers.  I had several 3M rounds and one 7M round (which only counted as 6M), and then near the end I had another dead round and then followed that up with two single bulls to win the game.  Felt good.

My last Cricket doubles leg was with Dani.  We lost this one but not for lack of trying.  My third to last round was a 3 bull round, followed by a dead round, and then another bull-double-bull round but it was not enough to catch up and then they won after that.  Six bulls in three rounds is nothing to sneeze at though.  So I ended on a strongish note.  If I'd not had that dead round in between them I think we would have won!

Any way, it was a good outing.  Other than miserable finishing on my part I felt good about the evening.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hot & Cold in Monday Singles

On Monday I attended a session of the Advanced Singles League.  There were eight of us present and the format was a Round Robin with 2 games of SIDO 501 for each round.  There was no "best of" component, we just all played 2 games against each other.  As such, I played 14 games total, and won half.  After an initial win to start off the evening, I lost 5 straight, and then won 6 straight, and then lost my last two.  Here is the match by match:

My first opponent was Cornfed (I keep meaning to ask him how he chose that nickname). The first game was strong.  I hot two tons and took out 20 for the win in short order.  The second game was lackluster and he out shot me but not by much.  I had one shot at an 80 out but blew it.

My second opponent was Brian. He was throwing some really nice looking Colonial reverse tapered darts.  I should have won both of these but my finishing suffered tremendously and his was spot on. In the first game I opened with a 140 and followed that with a 92.  My darts cooled down a bit after that and I ended up spending four rounds missing outs.  He won.  The second game was lackluster other than a single 118.  I had one shot at a 56 out but didn't hit it. He took out a 79 to win.

My third opponent was Jeff.  In these two games, which he won, I hit a serious slump. I hit only low scores and had over 200 points remaining in each game when he won. Very poor performance on my part.  While I gave myself a shot at the out in both of my games against Brian and Cornfed, I did not in these two.  They were almost demoralizing, but I kept my spirits up somehow.

My fourth opponent was Michael.  This was the start of my 6 game winning streak. These two games were both wins for me, but it took me 34 and 32 darts, respectively.  I hot a single ton between the two games and took out a 6, and then a 40 for the wins.

My fifth opponent was Tom.  These two were my best games of the night.  In the first game I went 85, 100, 81, 100, 71, and then spent 15 darts on finishing to eventually take out a 12. I felt strong.  In the second game I hit three tons and missed taking out 120 by one or two millimeters. Then I spent two rounds finishing and took out a 4 for the win.

My sixth opponent was Ronny. I had no tonnage but hit maybe three triples between the two games. I won them both, taking out 32 and 16 for the wins. 

My seventh (and last) opponent was Karim.  I did worse in these games than I did against Jeff.  I hit a single triple in each game and was otherwise a complete no-show.  I didn't put up any sort of respectable fight, and had 289 and 254 points left respectively.  Terrible way to end the evening.  Karim on the other hand was impressively dominant.  He threw an 18 darter and a 17 darter against me.  However, I have beaten him a couple times before so while I recognize that he is a high caliber player, I maintain some expectation that I will win when I play him.  All I have to do is hit my targets.

While my win-loss was 50% exactly, I feel like I had a decent evening.  I was throwing the 24 gram One80 Revenges exclusively.  I brought the Thunders with me but never broken them out.  In total, I hit 1058 points in tonnage.  Not bad!

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Fine Sunday Revenge

Yesterday I attended a drop in luck at my hosting pub and only three other darters showed up for it, so we had a singles round robin in which each match consisted of three legs.  It was not a best-of, but rather just a straight up three leg match of SIDO 501, Cricket, and "Corker's Choice".  Happily, and quite surprisedly, I did not drop a single leg, despite running up against Captain Tre, who is a fine darter and a formidable opponent.

There was only one tablet present so half the matches were conducted on good old fashion chalk boards (these of which have seen better days).  As such, I do not have turn by turn records of 6 of my 9 legs.  But I know I hit some good numbers and had some really fine visits during the evening, including back to back tons in one 501, a couple of 140's, one (or more) 120+'s, and one Cricket match that included a 7-Mark round and many more triples.

I wish I'd photoed those chalk boards post game.

I brought two sets of darts with me: my 26 gram Designa Thunderbolts, and my 24 gram One80 Revenge's, which are a part of their "Revolution" line:


I threw the Revenges for the first two matches, and the Thunderbolts for the last match against Tre.  I love both sets and they were flying quite well for me from the very get-go.  The Revenges have a very funny boing when they hit the board because their points are so thin.  Sort of like when an arrow hits a target in cartoons.  Even in warm up I was very hot on doubles and that carried through to the match as I had little problem finishing.  Here is a Double's Trick I hit during warm, up, as well as a Hat Trick:



My matches against Ryan and Ronny were pretty straight forward wins as I was throwing quite well, but my three legs against Tre were hard scrabble as he was throwing well too.  In the first 501 he opened with a 100 and then a 140, and maintained a 200 point lead on me through to near then end, but I eventually hit back to back tons to catch up and then took out 20 for the win.  Worth noting: I took out 20 at least three times during that shoot.  Seemed to be my number.  And then in our Cricket, I really do not see how I overcame his superlative shooting.  He was on fire, hit numerous triples, and made me fight hard for the win.  Hard hard.  I wish I had the DartsConnect turn-by-turn for that game.  In that leg I hit a 7-mark, and several other good rounds too, but in the end I think I won due to being hot on bulls.  The last leg of the match was 501, and while I do not remember what the rounds were like, I do know I won it.

At the end of the day I won first (having won all legs) which carried a $20 pot, and was enough to cover not just the $7 entry fee, but lunch as well!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Utterly Painful Evening

“I am a man more darted against than darting.”
- King Lear

A recent outing to the Monday night singles league resulted in a full roller coaster of emotions for me, as a darter, but in the end I went home mostly content.  As a dart player, historically speaking, I am used to winning most of the games I play. Not all, but most. Even if I am up against a quality player I walk into the match with a full expectation of winning. I am not sure where this confidence comes from.  Probably from 16 years of competitive play. I am no longer intimidated by swagger, a quality visit from my opponent, or even by a player who routinely beats me. In baseball they talk about “post season experience” as a way to describe a teams ability not just to rise to a higher level of play, but also their ability to not buckle in the face of a formidable opponent. I think I may have a little bit of this in darts even though I really have only ever been a league player. I am certainly not the best dart player in my league, not by a long shot, but at the very least I am not intimidated by anyone in it, and it has been years (probably more than a decade) since I have walked into a match expecting to lose.

My last visit to Monday Single League shook my confidence a little as a darter. It started out quite poor, very poor in fact, then reached a high crescendo in the space of two or three games, and then crashed down to the lowest I have felt in recent memory. I lost games I had no business losing, mostly because my finishing suffered tremendously. I spent literally dozens of darts missing doubles, including the Double 1, in several games. The silver lining is twofold:  first and foremost I never once lost my composure or showed any outwardly visible signs of dejection or distress. I remained as cool as a forest after a spring rain, which I think is a pillar of professionalism.  Secondly, and more importantly, one of the players I lost a best-of-three match too, and who is almost always at the shoots and almost always does poorly, was absolutely elated at his win. I have not seen him that happy ever. His smile was ear to ear and he was even shaking people hands (unusual for him). His elation was infectious, and I went home a happy, but defeated darter.

Here is how the evening went. The format was a Best-of-3 SIDO 501 Round Robin tournament. My first opponent was certainly the best player in not just our little league, but probably in the entire PNW. Despite this, I expected to win. I know I am capable of it, as I have beaten him before (tho rarely). However, in this case I most certainly did not.  We played two games and in both legs I had 262 remaining when he took out his double for the win.  Despite the identical results, my second leg was poorer than my first!  In the first leg I hit a solitary lonesome triple for a score of 68. In the second leg my highest round was 41, and I hit that score four times. A miserable way to start a shoot.

My second opponent was Cornfed. He seems a good guy and I think he might be the same species of dart geek as I.  He has a large collection of darts paraphernalia dangling from his belt (I might take a picture of it sometime), he has a "I've got this" confident swagger, and he throws a rare and expensive Target branded dart (which I also want to get a picture of).  My first leg against him started poorly: 25, 45, 26.  But then I hit a 125 and then followed that up with three rounds of 60.  The closest I came to an out shot was my last round.  I was sitting on 160, which would have been a spectacular out for me (but I have done it (once)) but I hit a 60 to leave 100, and he took out 53 in his next visit. Game over.  The next leg was worse.  My highest round was 85 and the rest were lower, and my one shot at the out was a 68. I started with a Triple 20, missed inside on the Double 4, then missed inside again on the Double 2, leaving bones.  He took out 40 in his next visit.  Game over.  At this point in the evening I have not won a single leg.

It is also worth noting that at this point I either never got to an out or I only had one shot at a multiple-dart out, so it is difficult to say that my "finishing suffered".  It will tho!

My third opponent was Karim.  This was scored the old fashioned way: on a chalkboard, so there is no DartConnect recap I can rely on to jog my memory.  All I really recall is that I lost in 2 games and scored a Ton-80 in the mix.  I was elated at the Maximum, of course, and it took the stink off an otherwise painful evening.

My fourth opponent was Tom, and I do not recall how this match went either.  My impression is that I did not win it.

My fifth opponent was Mike.  This was my only successful best-of-three match of the evening and I took it 2-1.  The first leg wasn't so bad. I opened with 83, and snuck in another Ton mid-game. In the end I had 70 remaining, hit a 52 to leave 18, and then hit the 18 with my first dart on the next visit. A nice win.  The second leg was quite middling until I had 152 left.  I hit a ton to leave 52, but then proceeded to spend 21 darts whittling it down to 2, and never managed to take it out.  Here was another instance of my finishing suffering greatly.  The third leg was another one I would describe, maybe generously, as fair-to-middling until I had 170 remaining.  I was hopeful, but then only scored an 80 to leave 90, and then spent 18 darts whittling it down to 12.  I did take it out though so while it was a win, I think it is fair to say that my finished still suffered.  This has been the theme of the evening, I think.

My sixth and last opponent of the evening was Ronny.  Normally I do well against him but not tonight.  The match was a 1-2 loss, and here is how it went.  I opened the first leg with a clean ton, but then settled into the middle range of scoring until I had 90 left.  Then, I a single 20 to leave 70, a triple 20 to leave 10, and then missed the double 5 outside.  Next visit I missed the double 5 outside with all three darts.  Next round I missed inside to leave 5, cracked that with a 1, and then missed the double 2 on the outside. On the next visit I finally hit the double 2 with my third dart.  In all that totals to 12 missed shots at the double ring so while it was a win, my finishing again suffered.  The second leg I also opened with a clean ton, then middled my way down to 155. I hit an 80 to leave 75, then, somehow flubbed my way into 40 to leave 35 (I do not believe any of those darts were aimed at the double ring).  Next visit, I hit a 3, and then missed the double 16 twice, once inside leaving 16. Next visit I missed inside three times leaving 2. Then I missed the double 1 for two more full rounds before I lost the leg. 11 darts that were aimed at, and missed, the double ring.  My finishing suffered.

My last leg against Ronny was more of the same.  I opened (very coincidentally) with another clean ton, and managed a 125 a few rounds later.  Then I middled again, and eventually spent 23 darts missing the double ring to an eventual loss.

So what is my take-away from all of this?  Finishing cannot suffer

Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Mostly Okay League Outing

We "visited" the other Kate's team last night.  They are all very nice people and last night was another refreshing instance where everyone was still sober by the end of the match.  Everyone there played their best and cared about the results.  This makes for a fun match, even if we did lose 14 - 7.

My performance was mostly okay.  The only thing I can really celebrate from the evening was two singles wins against their two best players.  Other than three Ton's on the night, everywhere else I was mostly a no-show.  At a high level, I won both my singles, but dropped two of my four doubles. The team game was a loss but I did hit two Ton's in that game, but because we are using DartConnect (which doesn't handle league play well), they do not count towards my overall stats for the season.

My first game was singles 401 against Joe, who is not only a good guy, but is a strong contributor to the league, occupying my old role on the board (Competition Secretary).  In that game he was playing better than I was in terms of three dart average, but I happened to hit my Double 8 before he could (and I have no doubt he would have, in short order).  I hit my last Ton of the evening in that game as well.

My second singles game was against Lyle, and it was Cricket.  I played quite strongly and I was proud of my performance in this game.  Lyle is a good shot and a strong competitor and I knew that going in, so I think this was one of those instances where a strong opponent served to raise my game a little.  The thing is tho, I didn't have anything better than a 4 Mark round in that game.  I threw a 2.1 to his 1.6, and I didn't have any dead rounds until we were down to bulls.  This was more of a steady slog through the numbers, ending 169 to 124 in my favor.

My first doubles 501 game was with Cory, and we dropped it to their best two players. Other than a couple of triple 20's during the game, I didn't hit any good numbers and I missed several shots at the out.  My second doubles 501 was with Chris.  We won, but I was little more than a warm body,  I didn't even hit any triples in that game and Chris took out the 35 for us to win.

My first doubles Cricket was with Dani and we lost, again to their two best players.  I hit two dead rounds in that game (including the opening round) but I balanced that with a 6M and a 5M.  They out-shot us however.  My second doubles Cricket was with Julia and we won this one!  Julia opened for us but when it was my turn I hit a Triple 20, missed the 19's, and picked off a single bull with the third dart.  I think that little maneuver gave us a mental edge for the game because we both stepped up.  I hit no dead round sin the game and in the last round I hit two clean single bulls for the win with fat darts.  That did feel good, and since it was my last two darts thrown in the evening, it took the stink off the rest of it :)


Last night I took the 24 gram Monsters I got in trade recently, and all brought along my 17 gram Super Alloy Bottelsen GT3's.  And I am glad I did.  They threw much better for me in the night than the Monsters did.  The Monsters were doing the thing where they landed in the board with a very salient rightward slant.  Annoying, especially because it ended up blocking the double 8 on me at least once.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Turning 50

Well, not really.  I am not 50 yet.  But I did hit my 50th Maximum the other night in the midst of one of the most painful outings I have had in recent memory.


Best part?  Instant gratification, of course!  The organizer of the event, who happens to be the President of the League was able to offer me the choice of a pin or a patch on the spot.  Being an Eagle Scout, of course I chose the patch.  I suddenly feel like I have earned the "Ton-80 Merit Badge".


This maximum came off the backs of my highly prized 24 gram Black Eagles by Laserdarts.  You can see they are wearing in-between length Fit Flight Stems and Standard Fit Flights.  One of the stems snapped before the end of the evening.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Game: Fifty-One

"Fifty-One" is a fun game which my friends, teammates, leaguemates, and workmates have all enjoyed immensely over the years. I have seen this game described in various dart books and there are surprisingly few variations. Most older books call the game 'Fives' and the score is counted up to 50, not down from 51. Here I lay out the rules for the game as I know it.

51 is usually played with two players but since it is a race to 0 any number of players can play with no variation in the basic rules. Each player starts with 51 points. First person to achieve a score of 0 exactly wins. The trick is, in order to subtract points, your totaled score for the round must total to something divisible by 5, and all darts must contribute 1 or more points to that total. So if any one of your darts hits a non-scoreable area, that is a bust for the round. This rule also applies to the last round. When you win the game, all three of your darts must score. Once you have a total that is divisible by 5 (leaving an integer), you subtract the dividend from your score. An example:
  • I throw my three darts and hit a 20, 1, and 19. Totals to 40, divided by 5 is 8, so I subtract 8 from my score and now I drop from the initial 51 down to 43.
  • Next round I hit a 20, 1, and 57. Totals to 78 which is not evenly divisible by 5. Thus my score for the round is 0.
  • Next round I hit a 60, 5, and the third darts bounces out. All darts must score so that round is a bust.
And so on.

A nice finish in a quick (very quick) game of 51 at work. That 145 translates into 29 score-able points. The game below occurred on Dec 20, 2010. I have no idea anymore what I was throwing in that game. Might have been my old Co Stompe Matchsticks.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Its the Artist Not the Brush

Last night's league match was wonderful.  My team lost 12-9 but I had a great night out due not only to my darts flying right, but to the friendliness of the competition.  We visited the Three Lions pub in Bothell.  Like their sister bar in Redmond, they attract not only good dart players, but super friendly ones too.  And on top of everything it was a breath of fresh air for everyone on both teams to still be sober by the end of the evening!

Here is how the evening went: I played seven games total, two singles, four doubles and one team game. I won both the singles games and three of the four doubles matches, but in the team game we got flattened like pancakes by their dominating performance.  I threw rubbish, and everyone on the opposing team stepped up and delivered.  They finished the team game with a 70+ three dart average. Quality darters, those.

My first singles match was a 401 against Niko.  I didn't hit any big numbers in the game but I was solid, hitting a single triple, but averaged 54.7 for the game, and the best part, the happiest part, was that I hit my out with my very first dart at a double. It was a 22 dart game and I finished on double 8.

My second singles game was Cricket against their best player, Doug.  A fine chap and a great dart player, but in this one I got the best of him. I had one 5-mark round, no dead rounds, and finished with a 2.4 average.  I felt strong in that game.

My first doubles game was a 501 with new teammate Chris.  He is a good addition to the team as he takes darts seriously as a sport and is probably as big a dart geek as I am.  Another fine performance in which I did not put up any big numbers other than a couple of 80ish rounds, but took out a 44 for the win with single 12, double 16. Again, it was my first dart at the double and it hit.  That felt good.  To this point in the evening, I can honestly say that I did not miss any double that I threw at :) . The streak would not continue, however.

My second doubles game was a 501 with Julia. It was a good one.  I hit 100, 100, 85, and then 84 for my first four rounds, and then, with 23 left, I missed the big 7 into the big 19, leaving 4.  The I put two darts just outside the double 2 wire, leaving 4 for Julia.  She hit it with her first dart next round. Those were my only two tons on the evening, but it was such a good evening overall I do not mind :)

My next two doubles games were Cricket, first with Cory, then with John. The first was a win.  I didn't have any impressive rounds but I only had one dead round, and Cory finished the game for us with a clean dosser.  Good on him!  The second game was a loss but we fought like hell.  It was a high scoring game, 409-322, and while I didn't have any high rounds, I only had one dead round, but we couldn't hit enough bulls to catch up when it counted.  They got that one.

I covered the team game earlier.  We lost that one cleanly.  Here is the final score sheet:


One of my favorite dart stories to tell took place when I was living in Pittsburgh and playing league there.  one day I was at a blind luck shoot with a good number of people participating.  The place hosting it was a bowling alley that had a large dart room with at least a dozen steel tip dart boards hung (permanently, not just for the shoot).  All of them were in use, as I recall, and you couldn't see one end of the room from the other for the smoke. A guy came in to play in the shoot and ended up in the barrel.  He didn't have any darts with him so he grabbed three bar darts from behind the bar and used those.  They were all brass, and none of them matched.  It was basically three random brass darts, and that is what he used.  He did not drop a single leg and won the shoot.  I told him that I thought what he did was amazing, especially given the darts he was using.  He just smiled and said, "Its the artist, not the brush."

Last night I took brass darts with me. Not for any particular reason, but just because as a darter I have been feeling "brassy" lately and I wanted to give them their "solid night out".  I do love me some brass darts, no joke.  But I wasn't trying to make a point or show anyone up who had expensive darts or anything like that, I just liked the brass ones.  So I brought them and they fucking flew for me.  I think they cost about $2 when I got them (used). You can see them below dressed in medium nylon stems and standard poly flights.


I had the book with me because I needed to get my tires replaced before the match and I knew I'd need to hang out in the Les Schwab waiting room for a solid hour and a half.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Re-Stemming the GT's

Followers of this blog know that I have been a fan of the Bottelsen GT line of darts for a long time.  I have had several sets that predated their threading system and thus were limited to the push-in stem system that they produced for early version of the GT.  There is nothing wrong with that system, necessarily, but it is nice to have options, and sometimes the old push-in GT stems were seem a bit loose or wobbly.  Threading them was a brilliant idea on their part, and their new screw-in stem system is quite nice looking aesthetically, and feels solid when properly installed.

But I have always been a tinkerer.  Back in the day, I made several attempts to mod the GT to accommodate spinning flights, like this one, and this one. Recently I picked up a set of 23 gram smooth GT's on ebay which lacked the modern threading, and whose stems were a bit on the worn side.  Thus I started to wonder how I could improve the darts a bit :)

I started by rifling through my myriad of stems looking for anything I might cannibalize for this little project.  I came up with three possibilities:  a 2ba wire stem, a 2ba fiberglass stem ("Jet Stream" stem, maybe?),  and also a Voks stem designed for their GT-esque Javelin line of darts. The Jet Stream stem was too weak and too well glued together.  I completely crushed it trying to remove the thin stem from the plastic bits on the ends.  The wire stem, on the other hand, came apart more easily, especially with the help of a vice grips and a desk mounted vice. You can see in the pic below some of the pieces I was working with.  The thin metal piece by the ruler is the wire part of that stem extracted from its other bits.  However, neither the Voks stem nor the wire stem would fit into the end of the bottelsen dart with ease.  They both felt just a micron too wide to fit in there. So...


...I used a repointing tool to do the work.  Fortunately the Hammerhead points are 2ba as well so the point-end of the dart fits into the repointing tool backwards quite nicely, and then it was a simple matter of clamping down the new stem as if it were a point and using the impressive force of the repointing tool to "re-stem" the dart.


Same process for the Voks stems...


Below you can see a couple of pics of the three different stemmings side by side, unflighted. There is a little bit of Goldilocks, here, I think.  The original stem on the far right is too close to the barrel.  Too short.  And it is also aesthetically jarring with the black gasket and aluminum stem.  The middle stem (which was originally the 2ba wire stem) is a bit long for the barrel, and the plastic bit on the end is too big.  Aesthetically speaking it overpowers the dart it self.  The Voks stem, on the left is just about perfect.  The length is good, the color matches the theme of the dart, and the bit on the end is also quite sleek compared to the the other two.


In the end I decided to go with the Voks stems pushed into the barrels 4 mm.  It seems to be a good length and should take a smaller standard flight or a pear shape quite nicely.  How they perform over time remains to be seen.  It could be that the ever-so-slightly too-large stem diameter has stressed the tungsten barrel near to the breaking point, and an unlucky stem-first landing bounce out will cause the barrel to shatter.  Remains to be seen, but I am looking forward to putting this set of darts through their paces.  If they shatter they shatter and I will not lose any sleep over it.  The experiment was fun and rewarding already :)


I am hoping to be able to post pics of Ton-80's with these darts soon.  Stay posted :P