Dartoids World


Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Column HR393

It’s not a reference to the song from the ‘40s (sung by Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Band) but rather to the dodo birds that decry the naming of Chis Dobey (and others) to the Premier League.  The world can run out of gas, and eggs (one explanation is that too many hens are now identifying as roosters) but never stupid people willing to prove it by speaking out (the Old Dart Coach is exempt).

PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter answered critics.  Many years there are maybe 8 or 9 or 10 players to consider.  This year there were more.  We sit down as a board, make a decision knowing we can’t please everyone.  We have to make sure that the player is ready.  One player who wasn’t ready was Michael Smith and his darts suffer.  Those that were left out can prove us wrong.

Smith made his PL debut in 2016.  Under the format he was dropped after 11 weeks with a record of 1-7-3.  This year, Smith decried the fact that last year’s runner-up Joe Cullen was left out.  I’m gutted.  Would he give up his spot?  The wound wasn’t that bad.

Last Thursday night in Belfast Chris Dobey did the business, mentally giving the victory salute to his critics that questioned his credentials.  Against Peter Wright, Dobey was nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs ‘ losing the opening leg in 17 darts, missing two checks.  Dobey broke back to win the second.  They were with level (2-2), 15 and 12.  Dobey took 3 getting to 5 legs with a T21 check.  Wright pause the enviable 12.   Dobey closed the match 6-3.

Against Nathan Aspinall Dobey’s 3-1 lead disappeared in 14 and 15 Darts, to level.  Both held to 4.  Dobey achieved 5 legs and then with an ugly 18-darter broke to win  6-4.

Michael van Gerwen took the first leg of the final in 13 darts.  Dobey wanted T70 to break back and level.  MvG’s threes left him at T70.  Dobey got the big fish with T20,T20 DB.  Dobey carried on taking the next two in 15.  MvG got the next pair with 15-darters including a T14 check (t20, 18, d18).  Dobey took 1 in 15 which MvG answered in 12 with a 92 finish.

After 12 darts in the decider MvG wanted 127.  Dobey with 160 and the throw: t20, t20, d20 “thank you very much drive home safely”.  This week the PL lands in Cardiff, Wales.

Michael Smith vs Jonny Clayton

Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright

Gerwyn Price vs Chris Dobey

Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh

There were those that predicted the Senior Tour would fall flat on its backside.  Didn’t happen.

The World Seniors Darts Championship returns to the Circus Tavern this weekend (February 9-12) with a prize fund of £200,000 (title sponsor: JENNINGSbet).  One big name missing is Mr. John Lowe who stepped aside to serve as Ambassador for the Seniors Championships.  This adds another title for Mr. Lowe.  When addressing him one should say, “Ambassador Lowe MBE”.

Norte America has three rooting interests in Canadians John Part and David Cameron – USA standard is carried by Larry “The American Eagle” Butler.  Oh yes  Leonard “The Jackass” Gates is also in the field.

The event will be available by stream.  DartConnect will also show the action – not the video – but you can watch the scoreboard as the matches are ongoing.

Surprisingly, Phil Taylor is the 4/1 choice to win it all.  “Surprising” as last year he went out to Kevin Painter 3-0.   Maybe the increase in prize money from £72,500 to £200,000 was an incentive to Taylor.  Ya think?

A good guess is that the first place money should be around £50,000 to £60,000. Defending Champion Robert Thornton’s at 6/1 with Martin Adams at 8/1.  Thorton defeated Adams 5-1 last year in the final.

The Colonies’ betting choice is Leonard Gates, at 12/1, which is simply ridiculous, and Larry Butler at 100/1.  The Maple favorite is David Cameron (12/1) with John Part at 80/1.  In the opening rounds the seeds are sensible with the exception of the #5 seed Tina Gulliver – with betting odds of 500/1.

The outcome will depend on which player took this event seriously 12 months ago, putting in the practice time and actual play to work on their game.

One that took it very seriously was “Rocket” Ronnie Baxter who is a USA favorite from the time he spent here over the years.  Once retired he has mounted a comeback with increased practice, exhibitions and actual play.  Baxter’s in a good half of the draw escaping defending champion Robert Thorton until the quarter finals.  Baxter faces Kevin Painter and with a win will face the winner of Gulliver vs. Harbour. It’s there for the taking and at 100/1 why not ?

Many years ago, the ODC suggested that the ADO and the NDFC (National Darts Federation of Canada) work together for an annual match between the two nations.  As is par for the course the idea was rejected. Now the CDC has taken a baby step in that direction, although is unwilling to take a major step without a “Mother, may I?”

On April 21-22 the CDC will present “USA vs. Canada” kind of.  Night one will feature a head-to-head, Canada vs. USA competition with the winners moving ahead.

That’s when the country rivalry ends and it’s just your normal CDC event.  Now, if they truly wanted to do something they’d make it a team event.  Night 1: singles.  Day or Night: two pairs, then reverse singles.  One point for a singles win and two points for a pairs win.  That’s Canada vs. USA.

People gathered  at Gobbler’s Knob (PA) as Punxsutawney Phil’s made his annual appearance.  He saw his shadow which portends 6 more weeks of winter.  The ODC stepped out of the command center and saw his shadow – which portends a diet is on the addenda.

Fools believe the first and doubt the second.

Stray 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.