Author Archives: Dartoid

September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

September 2019 Double Out Shot: Sommer Ray

Column #575 The difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Column 575
The difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO

You may remember the day when (thanks to the late Charles Schulz, whose words I’ve embellished a bit) Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus were relaxing on the side of a hill looking at cloud formations in the sky…

Lucy said to the boys:

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton. I could just lie here all day and watch them drift by. If you use your imagination, you can see all sorts of wonderful things in the cloud formations. What do you think you see, Linus?”

Linus looked to the left, far off, and said: “Well, over there those clouds remind me of the Canary Islands. I can see palm trees and parrots with feathers all blue and red and florescent green. Over there I see what appears to be a profile of the famous poet, Thomas Aikens. I can see his beard and I think he’s holding a pencil and a pad of paper. And over there to the right I see the Apostle Paul. I see his robe and his belt buckle and his floppy sandals.” Linus went on and on.

“Uh huh,” Lucy interrupted, “that’s very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie, of course, got that sort of twisted look on his face, hemmed and hawed for a moment and, finally, said, “Well, I was going to say a duckie and a horsie, but I think I’ve changed my mind.”

The point?

If you don’t look you won’t see. If you aren’t innovative… if you can’t imagine, lack vision, don’t consider the spectacular possibilities out there you will never achieve big things.

This is the fundamental difference between the CDC (and PDC) and the ADO.

From the Field,



August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

August 2019 Double Out Shot: Michelle Keegan

July 2019 Double Out Shot: IIrina Shayk

IIrina Shayk

Column #574 Darts survives perfect storm in Fukushima, Japan

Monday, July 1, 2019
Column 574
Darts survives perfect storm in Fukushima, Japan

First came the 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Then a towering tsunami that raged inland for miles, sweeping to their death more than 15,000 people and countless animals.

Then it got worse, much worse.

In what would become a catastrophic nuclear meltdown, claimed by many to be worse than Chernobyl, three nuclear reactors began to leak radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. The government immediately declared a mandatory and near instantaneous evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. Untold numbers of animals were left behind.

But darts survived…

It took 18 months to arrange to enter Fukushima’s no-go radioactive zone for a business meeting. Among others, Rob Heckman helped me make connections.

Clad in a hazmat suit, with the tick-tick-tick-tick of my Geiger counter as a constant and unnerving background warning, I handled business just miles from Ground Zero and quickly moved on.

While inside the zone I witnessed the still eerie apocalyptic aftermath of the disaster. Cigarette packs left on café counters. High-end cars abandoned by the roadside. Vending machines still fully stocked.

Overnight, thriving communities were frozen in time. They became ghost towns.

Yet, darts survived…

In 2013, just two years after the disaster, DARTSLIVE held its Stage 11 qualifier in Fukushima Prefecture (a prefecture is sort of like a state). In 2015, the Soft Dart Professional Tour Japan Stage 13 qualifier was hosted here.

Darts bars are everywhere. There’s Locotribe, Blanca Dart, Pub Grand, Barca and Space Creation Jiyukukan, to name a mere handful.

I ended up at Bar Dream (Fukushima Nihonmatsu Motomachi 2-196) located in Nihonmatsu City in the Tohoku area. The mountains are beautiful and, supposedly, so are the rice fields in the spring. When I arrived it was snowing.

Bar Dream is a quaint little joint owned by a family who also run a hand-made soba (thin noodles made from buckwheat) shop in a hot spring town about 30 minutes away.

Unlike typical Japanese bars which generally have private rooms for their customers, Bar Dream is more western-like with a row of seats along the bar, behind which is an ample display of liquor bottles. More Japanese-like, there is a second room with two more glistening tables – a more traditional private setting. Here’s where one will find the darts, one board, electronic.

The bar is cozy, like a home. There are paintings on the walls of landscapes, not dogs playing poker or naked girls, the later quite unfortunate. In this respect the place is most definitely not western-like. There are fresh cut flowers in colorful vases. It’s welcoming.

A beer runs 600 Yen (about $5.35), not unreasonable, particularly for Japan (or Las Vegas). There’s also pizza, soba noodles with spicy sauce and Japanese bar food that I didn’t try but which probably wiggles and has eyes and whiskers.

The bartender is as good as any but it’s the owner – a nice middle-aged lady – who makes the place extra special. She’s friendly, attentive and even kind of protective. She makes you feel at home in her home away from home.

I didn’t throw darts this night (although I did do something that found me about $100 lighter when I stepped back into the falling snow). Had I thrown darts and had “Pulitzer Prize-winning in his mind” author Michael Winkler (who’s been dodging a money match with me for months) been with me I’d have shown him how absurd his “Iron Laws” of darts are. (That said, I’m pretty sure Jason Carter would be easier money.)

Bar Dream is a terrific little venue – one among so many examples of how darts in Fukushima survived the perfect storm (not that Nihonmatsu City is anywhere near the Daiichi nuclear power facility).

NOTE: In the event you are not familiar with the “Iron Laws” of darts and want to read an in-depth but easy to understand discussion I encourage you to limber up your feet and then Google the “Hokey Pokey.”

That’s what it’s all about.”

From the Field,


June 2019 Double Out Shot: Samantha Hoopes

Samantha Hoopes

Samantha Hoopes

Column #573 How to Master the Game of Cricket – a book review

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Column 573
How to Master the Game of Cricket – a book review

Full disclosure: Mesa, Arizona’s Jason Carter and I have a history. It dates to when I took issue with an article he wrote about MAPP (Minimum Advertising Price Policies). It was riddled with inaccuracies and fundamentally argued that American darts suppliers were gouging consumers. “Greedy” he labeled them. They are “ripping off” the American consumer. I was compelled to set the record straight, with facts.

So, when I heard that Carter had written a book – and that the book was about Cricket – my visceral reaction was negative. Carter has also promulgated his opinion that along with “ridiculously” high darts product pricing Cricket has led to the demise of steel tip in this country when, in fact, the predominant cause is a complex stew of years of ADO nonchalance (and possibly worse) and the concurrent rise and professional management of the electronic game.

Thank goodness we have the Championship Darts Circuit guys.

And now, I thought, Carter is a fan of Cricket?

My reaction was unfair. One can’t have an opinion about a book (or the Mueller Report!) unless they have read it.

So, I purchased the book. I’ve read it three times. At 128 pages it’s a quick and interesting read. Carter is a good writer.

I must now admit that my initial reaction was not just unfair; it was wrong.

How to Master the Game of Cricket belongs in every dart player’s library. Both Carter and Dr. Patrick Chaplin, who wrote the Foreword, are correct, at least to my knowledge, that until now, there has been no “book” published that deals exclusively with Cricket. (Note that Chaplin did not “endorse” the book – as a historian he “support(s) research into areas of the sport of darts which have not previously been comprehensively covered in a ‘single volume.’”)

The book, the “volume,” is cram-packed with advice on how to play and excel at the game. The advice is founded on three main principles: 1) don’t chase, 2) point if you’re behind and 3) close if you’re ahead. Nothing earthshakingly new here. These basics are time-worn.

There’s some discussion of counting, using the bull, and more. Again, nothing new.

There are a handful of oddities. Carter, who is described as a “not even decent player” by some who know him, talks about his hitting 7- and 9-marks. Well, maybe. He comments that there is no “video proof” of anyone ever hitting a perfect Cricket game (which is possibly true – but I witnessed a perfect game by Roger Carter in Greensboro years ago and once when calling the ADO Cricket National Final saw him just miss a perfect game against Paul Lim). Carter the author occasionally mixes up steel and soft-tip terms. None of this is a big deal, just curiosities.

Certainly, there is no reason why someone who’s not expert at the line can’t coach others on ways to become expert. And again, the book is full of good advice.

But there is nothing new, nothing significantly new anyway, anywhere between the covers. It’s all there, the first time ever between the covers of any book.

Therein lies a problem, and it is a significant one. Or perhaps to some, entirely insignificant.

Surely the reader is familiar with Yogi Berra Yogi-isms. “You can observe a lot by watching” or “Nobody goes there anymore – it’s too crowded.”

Perhaps the most recognizable Yogi-ism is: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”   It’s unclear if Berra said this – he both denied it and copped to it. Some say he said it after the Yankees won the 1953 World Series by defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers for their fifth straight title. Others insist they heard him say it after Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit back-to-back home runs against the Chicago White Sox in 1961.

By definition “déjà vu is the eerie and intense sensation that something you are experiencing has happened before.”

Again, there’s the rub.

After reading just the first dozen pages of Carter’s book, I experienced that déjà vu “sensation.” I knew I was reading something I had read before. The words were different. But the message, the ideas, were familiar. I just couldn’t immediately identify the source, not for certain.

So, I began to dig into my library and boxes of old issues of Bull’s Eye News…

Then it struck me. It only took a moment. No doubt about it.

Between the years 1984 and 1998, Bull’s Eye News published a 31-part series by Tony Payne called “Thermonuclear Cricket.” Payne, who among his many other darts accomplishments was a five-time consecutive member of the US World Cup Team, is probably best known for his writings on Cricket strategy.

The unacceptable thing is that nowhere, not on any of the pages of Carter’s book, including the Acknowledgements, does he mention, attribute or credit a single word, phrase or idea to the man who defined and chronicled Cricket strategy. Only a quote from Jay Tomlinson mentions Payne as (historically) “one of the great players east of the Mississippi.”

Carter does acknowledge the “wonderful community of Reddit r/Darts (which)… helped contribute either directly or indirectly to the preparation of this book.”

Along with Carter, one of the most active contributors at Reddit is “misunderstood” convicted sex-offender John Doyle (aka JD Maine, JD, JD3, Sean Murphy, Smurphy, Cyanide, Bruce Kelly and Worldwide Darts). Both Carter and Doyle are moderators at Reddit.

Doyle has also scanned and posted 22 of Payne’s “Thermonuclear Cricket” articles on Reddit and BRANDED some of the articles with his logo (although, admirably, or perhaps accidentally, he doesn’t remove Payne’s byline). What Doyle, or whatever alias he may be hiding behind today, either isn’t aware of or doesn’t care about is that Payne’s articles are copyright protected.  People can obtain them by ordering back issues of the magazine. Payne receives a royalty.

One might reasonably argue that in effect what Doyle has done (and Reddit has permitted) is steal sales from Bull’s Eye News and royalties from Payne. Yes, perhaps insignificant to some.

What Carter, who writes, “…it is my hope that these writings will become the ‘bible’ for all things Cricket,” has done is reword, restructure and regurgitate (and supported with graphics strikingly similar to those in “Thermonuclear Cricket”), Payne’s series without an iota of attribution to the man who actually did write the “bible” on Cricket.

Again, none of this is to suggest the book isn’t a useful purchase and packed with good advice. It is. I recommend it, at least to players just starting the game. It’s just that the advice is not original. The honorable thing would have been to acknowledge Payne.

It’s not easy these days to identify which old issues of Bull’s Eye News carried Payne’s series, and even if one makes the effort to purchase one of these back issues some of them are no longer available. But this is no justification for being dishonest, except perhaps to Doyle.

It’s long past time for Payne’s series to be chronicled in one place. No argument there. But the decision should be his.

For the record, I do not know Tony Payne, but I did communicate with him through a friend to ascertain his take on being ripped off. The message I received was not unexpected: “Tony has not read the book and has no plans to do so.”

Why should he?

He wrote it.

From the field,