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 


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

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Smartest Maximum?

My 49th lifetime Ton-80 came off what was billed as "the world's smartest darts".  I never had any business dealings with the guy who made and marketed these darts, but whoever it was included a few very interesting things into his dart design.

The points are spring loaded, and a fairly standard spring loading at that, however, the design of the nose is kind of nice.  These were made in the era of ugly conversion points so these, at the time, were a breath of fresh air.  The springiness of the points is a bit on the soft side though.  I happened to get this set on ebay so I did not get the case or the original stems or flights.  While the stems themselves were a standard in-between length nylon stem, the flights were a unique size and shape which I found highly, highly appealing.  They were almost the same shape as a standard flight but probably 10 to 20% smaller.  I wish I'd bough 100 of them when they were available.

Alas, the gentleman is no longer in business, so neither the darts nor the flights are readily available.  The darts are 22 grams with a fine ring going the entire length of the barrel, and they are currently dressed in short spinning aluminum flights, and pear polys. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Solid Night Out

For my darts, anyway, not necessarily for me.  I have half decided that I am going to start taking a single set of match darts with me to league nights (and other competitions) along with a disassembled backup set that I go to only in extreme need.  This is not because I think it is better to stick to a single set of darts.  I do not think that.  But rather because I have so many sets of darts that simply do not get their day in the sun, so to speak.  As such, I have (half) decided that each set of darts I have will get "a solid night out" of competition so I that I can really run their paces and they have a chance to do something nice and special, like hit a Ton-80, or hit that high-stakes out!  So this week in league I treated my 15 gram "Aviators" (I call them that because they aesthetically remind me of 1950's aviation design) to their solid night out:

The night was the most meh of meh nights you can possibly imagine in terms of my own performance, but I did enjoy throwing the Aviators all night long.  And they got some modest appreciation from teammates and opponents as well.  I saw my good buddy Richard there and I regret not being able to spend some more time with him after the match but I was developing a migraine and decided to get out of there as soon as I could.

Last night we hosted Misunderestimated at Kate's.  They beat us 11 to 10, and I do believe that is the closest my team has ever come to winning a match.  And I think the reason we lost is because I couldn't hit my fucking doubles when I needed to.  That, and I got my ass handed to me on a platter during my singles Cricket.  So here is how the match went:  I played three singles games and lost two of them; I played five doubles matches and lost two of those as well.  And I hit the winning out in the team games, which always feels nice.

My first singles game was 401 against Bill.  I didn't hit a single effing triple during that entire game, but I managed to take out my double 2 before Bill could take his out.  He had a higher average than me in that game but neither of us were on fire.  My second singles game was also a 401, this time against Jim.  That was an earned loss on my part.  I whittled the score down to 32, and then proceeded to spend 15 darts missing the doubles until Jim finally took his out.  I despaired after that game. (But I bounced back emotionally within a game or so.)  My last singles game was Cricket against Bill and he trounced me thoroughly.  I had one five marker early in the game but threw a 1.6 against his 2.6.  It was a command performance on his part and there is no question I lost because he was hot and I was not.

Doubles was more meh. I threw three doubles 501 and two doubles Cricket.  My first 501 was with Julia. I hit my only Ton of the night in that game and took out a double 6 before they could take out theirs.  It was a B League effort on the part of both teams.  My next 501 was with John and we lost.  I threw poorly, not hitting any big numbers and I missed my outs.  My last doubles 501 was with Dani and we won.  I didn't hit any big numbers in that game either but I took out a 32 for the win.

My first doubles Cricket was with John.  I started off pretty strong but then hit a slump, accumulating three dead rounds and mostly missing my bulls.  We lost but both teams sucked that game.  My last doubles Cricket was with Julia and we won that one.  I didn't hit any big rounds but I didn't have any dead rounds either.  I hit the first two bulls and the Julia hit the last one for the win which made her quite happy.  That was nice.

The team game was also anemic (for all of us) but I did hit the winning Double 8.  I have not done that in a while so that felt nice.  On the whole the evening was a poor performance on my part. Here is my winning 16:

This is the final score sheet.  I blame myself for the match loss:

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Unicornity Questioned

The following darts are UFO's from my perspective.  They are clearly of an earlier era of darting:  fat brass barrels, push-in wooden stems, feather flights.  All of which tells me that they date back to the 60's or much, much earlier.  When I got them they came in a plastic two-piece Unicorn case which, honestly, seems like the perfect case for them in terms of length.  However, I have not been able to find either the barrels or the stems in any old Unicorn catalog.  As such, I question their Unicornness.  Unicornity?

They fly nicely.  Here you can see a nice double-double up top.  I went for a third but it miss wide:

And here are some close ups of the darts and the barrels:

Thursday, September 19, 2019

An Unhappy Ass-Handing

Last night's league match was an ass handing of the less pleasant variety.  I had fun, of course, because its darts, and I enjoy all my teammates but my darts were not flying true for me for most of the night.  At a high level, I won my only two singles games, but lost all four of my doubles games.  And while I hit 416 glory points on the night, I was not hitting the 60's at all.

My first singles game was 401 against Wanni and it was a well played game on both our parts.  Better on his part, even.  I won by taking out a 20 on my third dart at it and throw a 57.3 average.  In the game I had a single ton against hit two tons and a 61.5 average.  I have no doubt he would have won the game on the next round.  He is a good player.

My other singles game was a Cricket game against Casey.  Also a good player but in this game I clearly out shot him.  I threw a 2.1 to his 1.3, I hit one five mark round early in the game, and hit two dead rounds.  In the last three rounds I hit a single bull and a double bull to win.

My first doubles game was a 501 with Jacob.  My only good shot was a 116, and I didn't even hit any other 60+ scores. I also missed several shots at the out which is what cost us the game.  The second doubles was also a 501, but with Cory.  This time I put up no big numbers, only hit a single treble during the entire game and missed lots of doubles for the loss.  That was a C League effort through and through.

I also lost both doubles Cricket matches.  They went like this:  The first was with John.  I hit no big rounds and had three completely dead rounds at the end when we needed bulls.  Had I hit even one each round we might have won the game but we earned that loss.  The second was with Dani, and while I happily did not have any dead rounds, I didn't have any fivers either, and we just got outshot.

In the team game I hit two tons but missed my outs. Luckily a teammate did hit his so we only lost 7-14.  Given how I was playing it could have definitely been worse.

The darts I took with me were the 22 gram Harrows Bristow Power Points, and the 26 gram McCoy smooth barreled copper tungstens.  Threw better with the McCoys, but only marginally.

Next week we are hosting Misunderestimated at Kates.

Monday, September 09, 2019

100 Darts at the 20's

This is a nice practice routine that I picked up from Dartsnutz.net.  The idea is quite simple and allows you to have a short intense 20's practice session.  The idea is that you throw 100 darts at the Triple 20 and track what you hit.  As you can see:

At the pub the other day I wrote 1 thru 33 (and added the +1 to represent the lat 1/3 round) so that I could track the game easily, and notated the hits each round. A '1' represents a single 20, a '3' represents a triple, etc.  So a notation of '113' means I hit 2 singles and a triple.

in the game above I use the Voks Bandits.  One pleasing note regarding that game is that I didn't have any dead rounds until that last third round.  I only had one dart and it missed wide into the 5, as I recall.

I've only played this a couple times, but score 78, which I am hoping is not bad but can still be improved upon.

Monday, August 19, 2019

48th Maximum ft. Accudart Fatties

Tonight I hit my 48th lifetime Ton-80, and it is my 4th for the year (I believe).  The darts in use are 25 gram Accudart 301's, which are a mixed material barrel.  The front half is tungsten, and the back half is brass. (Like the dart version of a mullet, I guess.)  The stem is a short 1/4" threaded aluminum, and the flights are standard dimplex.

By way of comparison, here they are next to a 20 gram tungsten UFO:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

An Abortive Outing (But a Good One)

On Monday night I had a couple hours to kill before I had to run an errand and so I dropped into the local knowing that there'd be a singles tournament starting at 7:30.  I entered the contest knowing I wouldn't be able to finish it, and the organizer was okay with that.  Since it was a double elimination event he figured that if I played poorly enough it wouldn't matter.

I didn't play poorly :)  I played two best of three matches before I had to leave and I won them both. The first 2-1, the second 2-0.

The first match was against a guy named Sean, and he won the first game, 163-160. We both threw a 1.9, which is a bit low for my taste, and I only had one good round which was a 5-mark on 20's and 18's, but I also had 2 dead rounds.  He out played me for the win but only barely.  The second game I clearly outshot him, 1.9 to 1.4, and the win was 114 to 16.  I also only had a single 5-mark round, this time on 20's and 19's, and I had 1 dead round in this game, near the end.  The last, tie-breaking leg was in my favor, 225 - 188, with averages of 2.4 (me) to 1.7.  But again, I had two dead rounds in that leg, and only one nice round, which was a 6-mark: T16 and T20 late in the game to close the open 20's and stop the hemorrhaging!

The next match I played I thought for sure I'd get smashed.  The guy was quite a good shot and hot, hot, HOT on the 17's.  Oddly though, I kept up and was able to win 2 - 0.  The first leg was a pitched battle.  He shot a 2.7, I shot a 2.9.  He had 2 5-mark rounds, I had a single 6-mark round.  I accumulated 341 points, he had 309 points.  My opponent, a San Franciscan transplant named Tom, hit a whopping 18 17's during the game.  I was only able to beat him because I had zero dead rounds, and was able to stay ahead in most numbers getting a little bit of points here and there to counter his incredible slew of 17's, and also because I hit 2 double bulls in the last two rounds to finally catch up in points and put a bow on it.  That was a great game.  And a fun one.

The next leg I also won, 96 - 87.  I hit no high-mark rounds but I also didn't have any dead rounds.  We both shot a 2.2, and in the end I was able to catch up in points and end the game by hitting four bulls in the last two rounds.  Bulls practice is helpful.

Then I had to leave which is too bad since I was still in the winner's bracket.  At least a couple of guys got a couple of free wins off me in my absence so good for them.

The darts I took with me were the 16 gram Harrows Magnums that I hit my last Ton-80 with at home:

As you can see, they are wearing white medium nylon stems, US Darts moving point conversions, and slim poly flights.  They are a nice little dart, although I wasn't wowing myself with them in competition like I was at home.

As you can see, everything fit into that little mints container, including an eye glasses micro-fiber cloth which is helpful for bespectacled fellows like me.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

47th Ton-80

Hit my 47th lifetime Ton-80 tonight while throwing quite casually in my garage.  I'd spent the better part of two hours weighing various UFO sets, and having an occasional solo DIDO 301 in between.  Happily, I hit this:

These are my 16 gram Harrows Magnums, wearing US Darts MP points, medium white nylon stems, and slim poly flights.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Smooth Darts

Mostly for my own reference, I wanted to assemble my collection of smooth barreled darts.

From top to bottom:

  1. Vintage brass dart of unknown make. The three really interesting aspects of this dart are that a) it has a hexagonal body which is uncommon to see, even in vintage darts; b)the barrel and the stem are all one piece of brass with the exception of the hairpin, of course; and c) it uses a hairpin style flight holder to hold paper flights.  The downside to this system is that it bends easy and it almost impossible to get straight again, and the hair pin is flat, preventing the loaded flight from be a perfect "X".
  2. 17 gram Voks Javelin.  These are not a tungsten dart, but rather steel, which makes it very light for its weight. To my knowledge, this is the only steel dart I have in my collection.
  3. 23 gram custom dart, designed by me, implemented by Jeff Pickup.  This is the set that you will see throughout my blog referred to as the "Dagnabits".
  4. 23 gram bottelsen GT.  This is an older set, and I know this because there is no 4ba threading in the back to take the modern screw-in GT stem.
  5. 25 gram Fansteel UFO.  I believe they are Fansteel because the came in a Fansteel pouch, but this is not proof positive.  What's interesting about these darts is that the barrel appears to be comprised of two different metals that are joined somehow.  Either that, or the middle portion had a coating on it of some sort.
  6. 26 gram CT's. This is another Jeff Pickup implementation of my own design (although in this case it was less design and more specification, as it is an exact replica of a GT but in copper tungsten, and with a fixed point).
  7. 26 gram McCoy.  This is another copper tungsten barrel.
  8. 28 gram Bottelsen "Black" GT.  This was my first big dart purchase.  They came with a black colored coating on them originally, but that has long since worn off, leaving a bit of a gray color.
  9. 23 gram Jenkins.  I have no idea who made this dart or when, but I absolutely love it. It throws real nice.  And I am only guessing that it is actually an official Terry Jenkins dart (as opposed to a custom dart).
  10. 23 gram UFO.  The person who traded this to me years ago claimed (I think) that it was a custom dart, but it is strikingly similar to the Sleek model from Red Dragon.
  11. 30 gram Schofield.  My guess is that this is the most modern of the Schofield dart line.  I have only ever seen one other tungsten Schofield before and it sported the push-in cane stems.  This one is threaded for 1/4" stems.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

21 g Mission Kronos M1 with Iso-Linear Grip

After much experimenting this is the configuration that I feel fits my throw (and the weight of the darts) best.

Very grippy, but not obnoxiously so!  The grip seems to encourage a "flick" throw.  As configured these darts are:

Barrels: 21 g, 95% Tungsten Mission Kronos
Stems: In-Between Aluminum
Flights: Smooth Poly Slim flights

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Mission on a Mission

Mission Darts, a new in-house brand from Darts Corner, is definitely on a mission to win the hearts and minds of darters everywhere.  The set you see pictured in this post was gifted to me by Darts Corner as a reward for participating in a contest, hosted at DartsNutz.net.

See my entry here :)

They graciously allowed me to choose my own prize, to include any set of darts I liked from the new Mission range.  Trust me when I tell you it was hard to choose and I agonized over it for more than a day.  All of their darts are attractive, and unique.

In the end I chose the Kronos M1, in 21 grams.  I felt that the gip pattern, tho complex, was unique and not overly aggressive.  I liked the metallic blue coloring to the barrels, and the skinny pencil style is quite a good style for my type of throw.  Also, I could envision how I would configure the darts: medium length, or in-between length stems and slim flights.

As you can see, they sent a really nice note and a bag of extra flights, both of which were quite a nice touch.

This is the dart in its assembled form using the parts that came in the packaging.  Very nice looking.  When I throw the darts as assembled they angle upward in the board a little too much for my taste.  Keep in mind tho that this is not a flaw in the intended configuration at all.  Rather it is an artifact of the way I grip and throw the dart.  Other darts are likely to find that the short stems and standard flights that come with the darts are perfect for their throws, and besides, the shipped config makes for a very nice looking dart indeed!

Here is the configuration that best fits my personal throw:

I did quite a bit of experimenting before settling on this config.  My first efforts were with the medium length Twin Grips that fawn over but when configured as such the darts were a bit long.  Sometimes hitting my cheek on the backswing, and sometimes landing in the board angled downward.  I could have tried a standard flight with the Twin Grips, but then the dart would have hit my cheek a lot more I think.  A slightly shorter stem corrected both items.  The dart doesn't hit my cheek anymore, and they land in the board square!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Unusual Robin Hood

Robin hooding previously thrown darts is a minor hazard in the game, and the modern dart has evolved over the decades to account for this minor occurrence.  Flights are replaceable, stems are replaceable, barrels are tapered to deflect incoming points, heck, even points are replaceable.

Nonetheless it happens, and when it does, it is almost always the incoming dart sticking into the stem or the center point of the flight.  Rarely do you see one of these:

In fact, I never have.  This dart embedded itself between the layers of the flight mid-wing.  The amazing thing is that the Dimplex flight was stiff enough to stop **and hold** the incoming dart.  I would have expected the dart to continue on through ruining the flight and eventually ending up on the floor or somewhere low on the board.

When I pulled the dart out, the flight was okay.  I squeezed the wing back together with my fingers and it is like it never happened.  Go figure.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Spring 2019 League Single Tournament Win!

On Wednesday night I participated in my first ever post-season singles tournament.  This is something new that my league has started since I went on hiatus five years ago.  Essentially, the top 8 available players are entitled to participate in a singles tournament to garner the bragging rights of "best in league".

The competition was fierce!  It worked like this:

The event is a double elimination event with two brackets: the winners bracket and the losers bracket. Because the survivor in the losers bracket has only been eliminated once (by definition) that person meets the sole survivor of the winners bracket in the final match. And again, because it is a double elimination event, the player in the losers bracket has to beat the player in the winners bracket twice, while the winners bracket player only has to beat the losers bracket player once. It seems unfair at first blush, but it is totally fair and totally makes sense if you think it through.

Everyone starts off in the winners bracket, of course, and you do not descend into the losers bracket until you have been eliminated exactly once. If you are eliminated once you are in the losers bracket then that means you have been "doubly eliminated" and are thus out of the competition.

In the winners bracket the players must win a best 2 of 3 match that goes like this:  the highest seeded player always (all night long regardless of circumstances) chooses who corks first. The winner of the first cork chooses the first game between American Cricket and SIDO 401.  The second game is recorked, again with the highest seeded player choosing who diddles first, but the second game is whichever game was not played first.  So if the first game was Cricket, then the second game is 401, etc.  If a third game is required then the winner of the third cork may choose either Cricket or 401.

In the losers bracket only one game is played.  The higher seeded player chooses to see or show and the winner of that cork may select either American Cricket or SIDO 401.

My first round in the winners bracket was again a swell guy named Bill who, to my utter delight, said that he has a plaque with my name on it from a previous season in his closet, and that he would give it to me once he saw me again.  This was a two leg match and I won them both, but I would not say that I won them handily.  After all, Bill is a quality darter and these was the first legs of the night for both of us.  I won the first cork and chose 401, which is unusual for me.  Normally if I get to choose the game I will choose Cricket if I know I am going first because I think it is more critical to go first in Cricket than in an 01 game.  Regardless, I chose 401.  After 18 darts I was down to 90, and I always go 60, 30 when in that spot, knowing that if I hit the 20 (instead of the 60) I still have a great leave.  However, in this case I did hit the 60, and missed outside the 30 with my next two darts.  Next round I hit the 30 with my second dart for the win.  Bill had 151 left at that point.  Neither one of us put up any big numbers, so I think it is safe to say I won simply because I was slightly less "not on" than he was.  The next game was Cricket and I also won the cork.  Again, no big rounds for either of us, but I managed to squeak out the win anyway.  So that was my first round of the night. Not a bad way to start!

My second round was against another great guy that I have known for a long time named Jim.  Again this was a two leg match and I won them both.  I won the first cork and chose Cricket.  We both played very B-Leagueingly, not putting up any significant rounds at all.  in fact Jim should have won this game but he couldn't hit his bulls, whereas I hit them no problem.  I hit four bulls in five rounds, opening them up and overcoming a small point deficit for the win.  Jim won the second cork and we played 401.  This time I played quite well.  I put up my first ton for the evening and threw a 20-dart game with an average turn of 60.2 points.  In fact my last two rounds were the first true sign my evening would be going well:  I hit a ton, leaving 70, and then next round I hit the 54, and the 16 in short order, still holding my last dart.  This concluded my second round of the evening, still having not lost a leg!  Here was the winning shot:

My third round in the winners bracket did not go well. In fact it was also a two round leg but I was on the losing end of both of those legs. Tre won the cork and chose 401.  Neither of us put up any numbers during this leg and it came down to who could hit their out and that was him!  I whittled my score down to 55, busted the 55 out, whittled it down more to 20 next time up but that was all she wrote for me. Tre took out a double 2 to win.  In the next leg, Cricket, Tre won the cork again and with both opened with a single 20.  But then a few rounds later I was in the hole 38 to 100 and I never caught up. In the last few rounds of the game I hit 6 bulls and almost caught up to him but it was not enough and he won, bumping me out of the winners bracket.  This was my first elimination of the  night, and as it turns out, my only elimination.  I did not know it yet, but within the next hour or so I would be handing Tre back to back eliminations in the finals!

My first round in the losers bracket was against a young man I may have played against before in league but honestly I do not remember. I met a lot of new people this year! I won the cork and chose 401.  Neither of us were on fire exactly, but I did hit my second ton of the night in this game and then took out a 53 by going 13, 40 in two darts, at my first opportunity. It is rare for me that I have a game where I hit the double for the out with the very first dart that I throw at it, but in this game that was the case.  This was the last losers bracket match before the finals and the fact that I won it meant that I had the privilege and the honor of playing against the survivor of the winners bracket in the finals match.

My 53 out:

Remember how I said that the losers bracket contestant in the finals had to win two matches, while the winners bracket contestant only had to win once?  Well, that loser bracket contestant was yours truly, and going into a finals against a guy who beat me in both games we played previously was a daunting task!  The finals went like this:

I won the first cork and chose Cricket. I opened with a triple 20 and nothing else and he answered with a four 19's. Within a couple of rounds I was in the hole and would never climb out of it.  He hit two 5 Mark rounds during the game while I hit none, and even though I almost closed the gap with 5 bulls near the end he hit his inner bull to win the game and the first leg of the finals.  The next game was 401 and I won the cork. I was throwing well.  In 15 darts I whittled my score down to 140 and in my next turn up almost took it out.  I hit 60, 60, and then my shot at the Double 10 was a wide miss inside for a score of 130, and 10 remaining.  Sadly, it took me 22 more darts to turn that into a win, including 5 rounds in a row that were either misses or busts at the Double 1.  I cannot believe I won that one but I did.  If he had been hitting his doubles that would have been my second elimination and the end of the tournament. Tre won the third cork and chose Cricket.  This was a B League effort on both our parts, neither of us putting up any good rounds, with one exception. To open the game I hit a Triple, 20, a Triple 19, and a Triple.... 4.  A few more millimeters and I would have had myself a White Horse :) Sadly, that nice opening round was not portentous, and the rest of the game was unlively.  We both had several dead rounds aiming at the bulls but I finally won, handing him his first elimination.  Now we need to face off again in another best 2 of 3 match to see who would win the tournament!

The second set went like this: I won the first cork and chose Cricket.  My only exceptional round was the 3-Bulls round I hit to win the game.  The second game was a forced 401, and I won the cork. This was the highest caliber game of the night. We both brought our A League games to the oche.  In my first four rounds I hit 85, 81, 100, and 82, leaving 53.  It took me 3 more turns to whittle that down to zero, but I eventually took out Double 12 for a 19 dart game, winning the tournament, and handing a great player back to back eliminations for an exciting come from behind victory.  He won the first 3 games we played against each other and I won the four we played after that across two matches.  I felt like the 2004 Boston Red Sox.  It was a wonderful feeling and I will remember that night for a long time (I hope).

This was the winning 24:

Me and Tre:

The darts I used during the tournament were two sets: