Column #187 Adrian Lewis Was Screwed!!
June 29, 2005
Adrian Lewis Was Screwed!!
Day Two has ended here at the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Las Vegas Desert Classic IV and what a day it was! Unfortunately the first news I must report is tragic and it involves England’s (too) young Adrian Lewis.
In the wee hours last night when all young lads should be tucked between the covers Adrian was playing the slots at the MGM Hotel. He shoved in “one last” token, pulled the big lever, and BAM! — the machine came to extraordinary life. It flashed, dinged, and jumped all over the joint before suddenly clinking out coins faster than it’s little aluminum tray could hold. When the commotion calmed Andrew was $72,000 in the black. Lady Luck handed him nearly three times the amount that Sunday’s champion will take home to England, or to some small town in America with cornfields and cows.
Then disaster struck. Adrian went to cash in and because he is “under age” the MGM refused to honor his winnings. In Nevada, where gambling and prostitution (in some counties) are legal (and heavily promoted) — where slot machines are found everywhere from gasoline stations to grocery stores — it is against the law for anyone under the age of twenty-one to partake in games of chance.
In an instant Adrian was rich and in another instant he was poor. He was robbed — TWICE — in broad neon by the MGM and the State of Nevada. First, they kept his winnings. Second, they didn’t return the coins he fed into their machine. In American terms there is only one way to describe such a lynching: it sucks the big whazooti!
And there’s also only one proper American-style thing to do about it. I don’t know what the phrase for it is in British-speak but in American English it is: SUE their frickin’ scum-sucking asses! Adrian needs to haul his young ass home, call a barrister, and LITIGATE!
As an unqualified legal professional with absolutely no formal training, let me explain the law in America.
If for example, I am a convenience store owner and a kid Adrian’s age saunters in and somehow manages to purchase and walk out with a six-pack, which is illegal for me to sell, and he chugs the six-pack — he owns the six-pack. Possibly his parents will catch him and ground his sneaky ass. Perhaps he will throw up on his shoes. But that’s it. If the authorities discover that the kid managed to by liquor in my store, it is I who will be legally screwed. My license to operate could be yanked.
It’s the MGM that is at fault here. They are at fault every time they let an under age person sit down at one of their slot machines, craps, or blackjack tables. They are at fault hour after hour, day after day, 365 days a year.
Adrian should SUE the MGM for the $72,000 in winnings that were withheld from him and the amount of money he invested to string together the three cherries or Monopoly guy faces or whatever it was that caused the machine to start spewing its guts.
So that’s the first bit of bad news. The other bit, admittedly from a purely personal perspective, is that I didn’t qualify for the next stage of the tournament. I’m pretty certain that my darts suffered as a result of the mouth-to-mouth job that Tommy Cox did on me yesterday. I still haven’t fully recovered from the trauma. So I think I’ll sue the PDC. NOTE TO THE PDC: I’m only kidding! Maybe.
The day began with Tommy’s usual Scottish welcome to the players: Good morning and welcome to the second day of Desert Classic IV. Like me, most of the darters find this daily welcome to be very nice. We would just prefer that he didn’t make it while standing on the Control Desk in his kilt.
I warmed up terrific on Board 54 for my first match against Battle Creek’s Dan Murdock — but the stanchion was broken, listing a couple of inches low and to the left (technically pretty much perfect for my standard of play but unacceptable for big time darts competition, according to PDC officials). So FIVE of them (more bodies that run most tournaments in the United States) appeared from somewhere and fixed it. Thirty minutes later, after taking my match to the seventh leg, I went down in flames — to an American! Oh horrors!
Then in the next qualifier lightening struck and so did my darts, carrying me to the board final which, fortunately, I lost — though again in the seventh leg after clawing back from a 3-0 deficit. I say “fortunately” because, had I won, next on the docket was Jamie Harvey — and Eric Bristow was set up behind the line to watch the match. I just know he would have laughed at me and made typically condescending Bristow comments under his breath — and that I would have had to cold-cock the wanker. As much as I, and many people, would love to do this, even for no reason whatsoever, I thought it unwise. I am trying very hard not to piss off the tournament director.
So my loss was technically a good thing — good for the bloke who beat me, good for the reputation of our often-maligned sport, and good for Bristow’s jaw.
At day’s end, eight more men (all from England) — Chris Mason, Andy “the Pie Man” Smith, Steve “the Muffin Man” Hine, Mark Holden, Wes Newton, James Wade, Adrian Gray, and the too young Adrian Lewis — made the cut. In addition, the final two spots for the ladies were sorted — with England’s Tricia Wright and America’s Stacy Bromberg completing the field. Wright nipped North Carolina’s Deb Parker and Bromberg bested young Canadian sensation Cindy Pardy to earn their positions in the semifinals.
Then the darters headed in three distinctly separate directions. The qualifiers headed to a sponsor and officials dinner and for the draw for Wednesday’s sixteen top-32 matches. Others drifted to their rooms to shower, head to dinner, and find their way to the gambling tables or shows where nubile young women swing from poles. Still others found their way to where I write now — CD’s Sports Lounge, for Bromberg’s annual Shoot for Charity for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Of course, the biggie event of this year’s fundraiser (expected to net over $15,000 once all the donations are counted) was the Greatest Match That Never Was between perennial Philippines National Champion Ricky “Mr. Quality” Villanueva and England’s world ranked Steve “Magic” Coote. Indeed, THIS is the bit of today’s Dartoid news that so many of Villanueva’s friends back in Manila are waiting to read. Well — Steve, Mon, Errol, Allan, and Duds — the wait is over. And I’m SO sorry. RICKY DIDN’T SHOW UP ON TIME AGAIN AND WAS DISQUALIFIED BY TOMMY COX.
No. No. Mr. Quality made it to the venue and showed his stuff. After a well played charity doubles match between partners Bromberg and Paul Lim and two-time world champion John Part and former Georgia state champion Joe McElligott (won 6-5 by Bromberg and Lim), Villanueva and Coote stepped to the line in the packed and smoke filled pub.
Both players scored heavily in the short best of three sets (five legs per set) match, notching up five maximums between them.
Villanueva took the initial leg with a sloppy but effective double five close but Coote quickly evened the score, pounding in 140, 180, 97, 84-close to take the second leg in eleven. Villanueva threw 180 with his first handful of the third leg and never looked back, matching Coote’s power, closing in twelve. Doubles then plagued both darters but Villanueva found the mark first to take the fourth leg and the first set with a double two.
In the second set Villanueva again stuck first, taking the leg, but Coote came back again with power to even it up. But then it was all Villanueva. The Filipino turned on his own power, notching up a another maximum to take the third leg in twelve, and still another 180 to and a 56-close for a thirteen darter to win the final leg, set and match.
It was all for fun and to help kids. A couple of hundred darters, including many from the Southern Nevada Dart Association showed up to support the event, contribute, and shoot in the Luck of the Draw. The PDC’s Russ Bray called all the play. Coote brought a set of his signature darts to be auctioned. Both Coote and Bray donated shirts signed by several of the PDC stars — which alone earned almost $400 for Make-a-Wish. Even the PDC’s new media director, Dave Allan, showed up — carrying the draw for the first round of stage matches that begin just hours from now.
About the only person who didn’t manage to make the event was Tommy Cox. I know he wasn’t afraid to play me, as I’d proposed. Who the frickin’ ‘ell would be? I can’t beat my own damn dog! Probably Tommy tried to make it but was run over by a car on the way.
So, speaking of the draw… here it is (along with my predictions)…
Well, actually, no, here it isn’t.
It’s 4:00 a.m. as I write these words. I’m going to sleep.
Screw the draw.
The Americans are going to kick ass. George Walls is going to stomp Wes Newton. Darin Young is going to stomp Andy Hamilton. Ray Carver is going to stomp Denis Ovens. And John Kyczynski is going to stomp Adrian Gray.
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. STOMP!
And if they don’t they’ll sue.
From the Field,
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