Column #228 Answer this Trivia Question and you’ll know who Won!

March 4, 2006
Column 228
Answer this Trivia Question and you’ll know who Won!

Here’s a trivia question for you. Answer it correctly and you’ll know the name of the newest old dog to win a World Series of Darts (WSOD) qualifier (Philadelphia) and stake his claim on the million dollar Mohegan prize.

The year was 1994. Dayton, Ohio’s Larry Butler defeated Dennis Preistley in the finals of the World Matchplay, accomplishing something no American had (or has) ever done. The question: what was the name of the American from Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania who nearly was the man on stage that day instead of Butler – who lost to Keith Deller in the top eight?

Here’s another clue. This same darter has competed for the world championship three times, twice at Circus Tavern and once at Times Studio on the Thames. Phil Taylor will remember him. So will Jamie Harvey.

Got it figured out? I’m guessing probably not, unless you are an historian or were among the 147 entrants who battled it out earlier today at Joker’s Bar and Grill in the City of Brotherly Love.

In a tight final that was tied after four legs, but which saw the momentum shift on a 156 finish in the fifth leg, old timer James Watkins dispatched Glenmore, Pennsylvania’s tough shooting Tom Stewart to make it four straight qualifiers now where the so-called big dogs have either been out performed by the old dogs or where they just plain haven’t shown up. Where exactly are Johnny Kuczynski, Darin Young and Ray Carver?

Today’s qualifier, run and aggressively promoted by Mike Broderick (creator of the popular website at http://www.phillydarts.com), was the most heavily attended thus far in the WSDO qualifier series. Six of the top sixteen finishers were from Philadelphia proper and thirteen of the top sixteen were from Pennsylvania, testament to the strength of the sport of darts in the region where it all began in America, with the American “widdy” baseball game.

Probably the most exciting match of the day was in quarter final play where two Philadelphians, Bill Davis and Michael Naulty, stepped to the line. Davis missed tops and Naulty stroked a 152 close to move ahead 3-2 in the match. In the next game, which proved to be the decider, again Davis had the out-shot but was unable to close the deal. Naulty advanced and threw strongly, but was overpowered 4-2 in his semi-final match against Watkins.

The other top four finisher was Kevin Regan from North Arlington, New Jersey. Finishing top eight were Jim Newman, David Bingel, Joseph Furphy, and Davis. Rounding out the top sixteen were Phil Sroka, Richard Keen, Gerald J. Dooling, Jr., Brian Mackenzie, Paul Seladones, Marc Marchesani, Russ Jasinski, and Jim Lutz.

Notably in attendance, although they all decided not to compete (which was surely fortunate for many of those who did), were Conrad Daniels, Ray Fisher and George Silberzahn. The trio is legend in America with more major victories (and one book) between them than Allan Iverson has outstanding warrants. Also in attendance, and shooting but going down early, were Mike Abboud, Bruce Cottrell, Mary Jo Chesney, Terri Marcello, Ed Konstanty and Eddie Rebstock.

Following his victory, Watkins was pleased and analytic, “I was really nervous on the double-two against Naulty in the semis. And the 156 finish against Stewart in the final (game five) was really big. I was just trying to score big to put pressure on him. But when I hit the first two darts in triple-twenty, the double was actually kind of easy, because I’d already applied the pressure. (The WSOD) is a great opportunity for Americans. It’s dumb not to try. It’s a win-win situation for all the dart players.”

So, James Watkins joins two other old timers, Roger Carter and Jim Widmayer, and one whippersnapper, Isen Veljic, as the March to the Mohegan continues to crisscross America.

(For further coverage of the Philadelphia qualifier go to the Bull’s Eye News and PDC websites at http://www.bullseyenews.com and http://www.planetdarts.tv/page/Welcome.)

STAY TUNED for the next Dartoid’s World WSOD qualifier report – right here, just hours from now – as darters are already rolling in to Chicago for the fifth event in the series. Watch out for Isen Veljic who will certainly be there, relaxing!

Coming next weekend: Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas. And the next weekend: Connecticut and Houston. The March to the Mohegan will then take a few weeks break before returning to the northeast for the final three qualifiers in April and the Main Event in May.

Dartoid’s World will continue to follow it all.

From the Field,

Dartoid

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Dartoid
Author of the column that since 1995 has been featured by Bull’s Eye News, the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) Double Eagle and numerous other darts publications and websites around the globe.
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