Dartoids World


Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Column HR404 

“From the Outhouse to the Penthouse” originated before indoor plumbing.  It’s long gone now, sort of.  In some “modern” cities, San Francisco being one, it’s not uncommon to observe a “squat and dropper” on any given day.  In sport it’s a much less common occurrence.  Last week in Rotterdam, Nathan Aspinall made that trek.

No one in the Premier League had suffered a more ignominious defeat than did Aspinall the previous week in Brighten.  He was cruising – up 4-0 against Peter Wright with legs of 15, 15, 14 and 12.  Then, the wheels fell off the Asp’s skateboard – he lost 6-5 after wasting 9 darts to capture two legs.  Darts is 90% mental.  Aspinall snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mr. Aspinall next traveled to Rotterdam.  There he would face Michael van Gerwen before 11,000 well lubricated fans adorned in orange upon his arrival…

MvG took the opening leg in 14 darts, but Aspinall showed gumption going up 2-1.  MvG leveled in 12 much to the delight of the crowd.  In 15 and 12 Aspinall recaptured the lead at 4-2.  The crowd went bananas when MvG leveled at 4 in 12 darts after Aspinall couldn’t double from 81 with 3.  The pair traded legs when Aspinall used T40 and a 118-check for a 6-5 win, silencing the arena.

Against Dimitri Van den Bergh the match was decided when Aspinall broke Van den Berg 3 times to win 6-4.

The Aspinall final against the “En Fuego” Gerwyn Price was a walk in the park…

Price took the opening leg, wanting 40 after 9.  Aspinall took the second, after a T40 left him T24 which he deftly erased (T40, T14, d11) in 12.  Price answered in 12 but then Aspinall used 13, 13 and 12 for a 4-2 advantage.

Commentator Wayne Mardle noticed that Price seemed “out of sorts.”  He was bothered by “a breeze” entering stage left that bothered no one else.  When “out of sorts”, Price throws silly darts – which he did on more than once occasion.   Yet Price crept closer at 4-5.  Aspinall would end it in 15 for his first PL 2023 win.

It was not just Aspinall’s victory that shook up the Premier League standings.  Gerwyn Prices’ 6-4 win over Michael Smith coupled with van Gerwen’s loss gave Price a one point lead in the standings.  Smith, after a week in Vegas with his wife, fell to 5th – a mere 1 point shy of 4th.  Jonny Claytons’ 6-4 win over faltering Chris Dobey gave him 1 point lead over Smith who he trailed by 2 coming into the night.  Van den Berge’s’ 6-3 win over Peter Wright eliminated Wright from a playoff spot.

Over the next four weeks it’ll be a war not only for the top spot but also for 3rd and 4th in the playoffs.  With 5 points for a win, 3 for a semi win and 2 for a quarter a little help will be needed.

The mention of war brings to mind the War of 1812 between Upper and Lower Canada/Great Britain/Spain and a number of Indian tribes.  On the opposing side the USA was joined by the Choctaw, Cherokee, Muscogee and Seneca.  After three years the affair was called a draw.  The Indians returned to selling tourists trinkets made in China.

The CDC’s Cross-Border Challenge 2023 played out last weekend in White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.  Unlike the war of 1812 the USA was eliminated in the first wave, managing only 2 wins from 8 matches.  

Canada’s Jeff Smith, Jim Long and the USA’s Jules van Dongen were the only ones averaging 90+.  The USA defeat could have been even more lopsided as Canada’s John Part had darts to win 3 legs in his 4-3 loss to Alex Spellman.  The other Yank win came via Jules van Dongen 4-3 win over David Cameron after Cameron failed to check from 40 with 6 in leg 2.

The semis were all Canada as Jacob Taylor (Canada) beat Alex Spellman (USA) 5-3 and Jeff Smith pummeled Jules van Dongen (USA) 5-0.  Smith rolled in the semi beating Steve Warnock (5-0) and then Jim Long 6-0 in the finals.

At Interwetten Austrian Darts Open Germany’s Martin Schindler faced Simon Whitlock with the crowd in his corner, especially when he led 5-1 in a race to 6.  Simon Whitlock, the Swedish Sweetheart’s fav, forced a decider when he finished on the bull from 117 as Schindler sat on 68.  The win came with another bull finish – this from 110 with Schindler on 40.  The crowd loved it – they’re fickle.

Jonny Clayton has the format (played best of 11 until the semis, then best of 13) and Daryl Gurney to thank for reaching the finals of the Euro Tour in Austria.  Daryl “The Chin” Gurney led 6-3 but needed 7…

Gurney took it on the “Chin” as Clayton leveled at 5 when Gurney failed on 2 match darts from 8.

Young Josh Rock laid the Shelagh to Michael van Gerwen – a 7-0 Snyder where MvG missed 8 checks in the last 3 legs.  Hitting d20 for the win Rock looked ready celebrate.  Over his shoulder he realized he had beaten the King.  Celebration over – probably he was thinking, “You can beat the King but don’t piss him off.”

The final was played at a high professional level – in 14 legs just 10 were under 15 darts…

Clayton lost the first leg to Josh Rock in 14, then cracked the Rock with a four-leg blast (12, 16, 12, 14) where Rock never saw a doubles.  Rock would get to 5-4 and 6-5 and 7-6 only to get swamped in 13 darts for the 8-6 loss.  Rock never missed a double in any lost leg.   

And finally: The ODC is climbing on his soapbox…

Peter Citera, of the CDC, took to social media to apologize for technical glitches during the Cross-Border Challenge.  There’s nothing to apologize for.  Those that criticized did so comparing it to a PDC telecast.  They were way off base and should be ashamed.  The PDC has thousands of dollars with a fully professional staff.  The CDC does not.

Just as “too many cooks can spoil broth” too few cooks make a delectable dish unappetizing.  If the CDC’s guilty of anything it’s over promising.  Over hyping an event is prelude to disappointment.

For “the crowd inside the hallway (it was) electric”.  It didn’t come across in the telecast.  The CDC is proud of what they accomplished, as they should be.

The black stage setting did little to generate joy – the setting appeared funeral like.   On top of that, many of the players were dressed like street bums with baggy pants and sloppy shirts – and showed little excitement.  There is NO excuse for this.

It was said and no doubt accurate, perhaps even an understatement, that “the dart hall was beautiful” – but this unfortunately added nothing to the dismal display of darts, promulgated by some of the players, as seen in the telecast.

In the words of Judge Judy, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”  You’ve come a long way baby with farther to travel.  Right now, they’re the “not ready for prime-time players.”

The ODC will now go into the Witness Protection Program.


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.