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.