Dartoids World

Column #HR392 The Biggest Ship in the Harbor

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Column HR392
The Biggest Ship in the Harbor

Years ago, Bobby George spoke before the BDO and its member counties.  George is an underrated dart player known more for his showmanship.  He has a keen business mind…

George advised, We (BDO) have the biggest ship in the harbor, but there is no wind in the sail.  If there is wind, we can sail around the world.  With no wind, you can’t even get the ship out of the harbor.  Money is the wind.  Money?  The true renewable Green Energy.

The BDO’s cargo hold was as empty as a politician’s mind.  Once they ruled the sea of darts.  

George suggested each BDO member pay £10-20 per year.  The idea was rejected.  One reason was that players would then have “skin in the game” – which leads to questioning how money’s spent.  To state the obvious, as the Old Dart Coach has want to do, the sea of darts is ruled by the PDC.  The WDF is still a major factor except in North America.

No better proof of the WDF’s European popularity is the just concluded Dutch Open which drew more than 5,000 entrants.

Coming into the Dutch Open the HMS Beau Graves was sailing along.  Local Aileen de Graaf brought Greaves to a sudden stop.  The two held serve until leveling at 2.  Then de Graaf used 13 for 3-2.  Greaves missed d17 on a 154-check allowing de Graaf 2 at d20 for the win in 20.  Aileen de Graaf took the decider in 18 after Greaves missed d32 for 106.

It appears that the WDF is in economically rough seas.  Sources claim that the WDF voted to raise their surcharge to $5 from $2.  The official line is, The subject of a $5 player levy was discussed, but is not being implemented.  Really?  If implemented at the Dutch Open, an additional $4,824 would have flowed into WDF coffers.

The first PDC “major’ of the year was the Cazoo Masters.  Prior to the first dart flying, Rob Cross was of the opinion that the PDC Masters was played too early in the year.  Michael van Gerwen agreed – that usually he comes into this tournament “enjoying the holidays”.  With first place money of £65,000 it’s funny what it takes to motivate the professionals.

One who was full of motivation was Chris Dobey.  Dobey broke a 3-3 tie extending to 5-3 against defending champ Joe Cullen.  Cullen narrowed to 5-4 with a T08 check following a missed bull finish by Dobey.  At 5-4 Dobey took advantage of  Cullen’s missed d20 for the 6-4 win in the first round.

The Masters quarter finals played out with little drama allowing time for singing and general tomfoolery.  Chris Dobey dispatched Dirk van Duijvenbode (10-5), world champ Michael Smith took out Danny Noppert (10-5), Peter Wright defeated Jonny Clayton (10-6) and Rob Cross sent MvG packing (10-7).  The semis were fun.

Michael Smith has gone back to the future with missed doubles and scoring at crucial times…

Smith led against Chris Dobey 4-2, 5-4 and 6-5.  Then the good ship Smith hit the rocks as Chris Dobey torpedoed his chances for a final.  Dobey leveled at 6 as Smith missed 3 checks.  Dobey build that to 10-7 in 14 darts.  Taps were played when Smith missed 4 more doubles allowing Dobey  to win in 14 darts.

Rob Cross led Peter Wright 10-8 in the race to 11.  Wright narrowed to 9-10 after Cross failed to check with d18 – Wright using 160 points (t20, t20, d20) to leave a leave a 20 check with d10.  Wright then leveled in 11 using a 88-check (t20, d14).  Wright got to 40 for the win but choked with three.  Dobey got the win erasing 68 (t20, 4, d2) for a final appearance.

The final between Dobey and Cross was level at 4 although either could have led 5-3 but for missed doubles…

Dobey got to 5-4 in 14 then 6-4 when Cross whiffed on 3 from 32.  Cross’ physical actions telegraph how he’s going.  When going bad it’s “WTF”.   At 7-4 three misses were followed by  Dobey when he     used 11 and 12 darts to lead  9-6.  Cross shook off “ WTF” with a nice 15-check of 144 with (t18, t18, d18).  Dobey came back to move close to victory in 13.

What would be the final leg was filled with “buckets of ugly”…

It started with Dobey who with missed a bull for the match leaving 41.  From 100 remaining Cross collected 34 leaving 57.  At 41 Dobey missed 2 at 32.  At 40 Cross scored 3, 11, 3.  After 2 misses Dobey got d16 for the 11-7 win.

The USSDA held their Championships at the same venue as the Fire Mountain Tournament.  A tip of the hat to Men’s champ Alex Spellman (4-2 over Chris Chism) and Lady’s Champ Preciado, Amanda (4-1 over Sandy Hudson).  U.S. Men’s Military was won by Jimmie Jones (4-0) over Donald Conway.

The Fire Mountain was a playground for Dani Warmack.  She took the cricket singles (2-0 over Sandy Hudson), the Lady’s singles besting Preciado Amanda (2-1) where the decider took 80 darts and a combined 26 missed doubles.  Golden Oldie and good guy Roger Carter took the men’s Cricket 2 -1 over Chris Chism.

This year roster for the Premier League was delayed until after the Masters.  Good for Chris Dobey who played himself into the lineup.  The top 4 from the Order of Merit are automatic selections.

There were some surprises…

Left wanting was German Gabriel Clements who probably played his way out of selection with a miserable 6-4 loss to Jose de Sousa in the first round of the Masters.

Gone from 2022 are James Wade, Gary Anderson and Joe Cullen…

Cullen was not happy.  He said, It was like getting kicked in the balls in a high pitched voice.  (Cullen played in the final last year.)  In the PDC it’s not what have you done for me yesterday but what have you done today.

Chris Dobey, benefiting from his Masters win, was catapulted into the Premier League.  Nathan Aspinall and Dimitri Van den Bergh join Dobey as newbies.

The first Premier League match is Thursday from Belfast.

In the sea of darts telling the truth about the ADO is defined as ‘bashing” by I’m Matt Stoner, ADO Vice President…

From the ADO’s always current “official” website is information on 1) 2020 tournament cancellations, 2) a Merry Christmas message and…

… 3) “comprehensive” results from the 2023 Las Vegas Open, to wit:

Men’s Singles 501 (283 entries)

1st – Chris Lim, Portland Area D.A.

2nd – Gary Mawson, Florida D.A.

3/4 – Leonard Gates, Individual

3/4 – Gary Mawson, Florida D.A.

Yep, Gary Mawson achieved the impossible.

When you can’t afford the best – rock and roll (over) with the ADO.

Stay thirsty my friends.


  • Howie Reed

    Astute, often controversial, and always humorous, the Old Dart Coach, Howie Reed (a former rodeo cowboy and advertising executive), is heralded as the Dean of Darts Chroniclers - the most prolific and widely followed writer ever about our sport. He goes back decades with the legends and knows where the skeletons are buried (just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers!). Here are four well-known facts about the Old Dart Coach: 1) he is a Republican, 2) he loves the ladies, 3) he can drink most anybody under the table, and 4) he throws darts as bad as Dartoid.

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