Dartoids World


Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Column HR410 

The 2023 PDC World Cup is upon us – starting tomorrow and running for four days in Frankfurt.   The World Cup is the Old Dart Coach’s favorite PDC event.  If the name Frankfurt rings a bell, it should.  The frankfurter (aka hot dog) got its name way back in the 13th Century celebrating the coronation of Maximillian II.

It’s written that the My Diesel Claim World Cup of Darts will have an “exciting new format” – 40 teams (doubles only) and a prize fund of £450,000.   An “exciting new format?”  Mom always said, the poof of the pudding is in the eating.”  A critic offered that Ernő Rubik, inventor of the Rubik cube in 1974, was called in to assist with the format.

Tighten your seatbelts dart fans – here’s the schedule:

Thursday and Friday will see only group play of which there will be 12 with three countries each.  Following round-robin play one country will move into the KO Round of 16.  The mystery?  Why “round-robin not “round sparrow or duck”?  Each group is headed by a seeded team.  Does this make a deference?  Probably not.  The loser of the first match plays the third listed team in the group.  The nations that move forward will draw randomly for spots in a 16-team bracket.  Group play is best of 7.

Now, if all teams in a group are 1-1 which team moves to the 16-team bracket?  There are a number of options.  First is leg difference, then total legs won against the throw, highest total average and winning match average.  If teams are still tied there will be a playoff.

The four seeded teams enter the fray on Saturday.  They are:

  • #1 England (Michael Smith, Rob Cross)
  • #2 Netherlands (Dirk van Duijvenbode, Danny Noppert)
  • #3 Wales (Gerwyn Price, Jonny Clayton)
  • #4 Scotland (Peter Wright, Gary Anderson)

The noticeable absence from the four seeds is defending champion Australia (Damon Heta, Simon Whitlock).  “The Champ gets the “fickle finger.”   Seeded #7, Australia should beat both Guyana and Gibraltar, moving on.  The danger for the Kangaroo Guys is drawing a top seed in the random draw for the 16 straight away – that without a drink before or a cigarette after.  Heck of a way to treat the defending champion.

Those familiar with the Soccer World Cup are familiar with the term “Death” or “killer group.”  Some seeded nations are ripe for an upset.  #6 Germany (Gabriel Clemens, Martin Schindler) could face a problem with both Hong Kong and Japan considering that Martin Schindler has recently been in a slump.

#11 Poland has the reunion of Krzysztof Ratajski and Krzysztof Kciuk who made the second round in both 2020 and 2021.

Portugal is always dangerous with José de Sousa.  Lithuania has a veteran pair in Darius Labanauskas and Mindaugas Barauskas.

The #13 seed, Czech Republic, could have trouble with Singapore as the “we’re not brothers” Lim return for another World Cup.

The Philippines with Christian and Lourence Ilagan are always dangerous.

How will the Norte Americans fare?

At the top of the USA group is #10 Austria with Mensur Suljović and Rowby-John Rodriguez bringing an outstanding record in the World Cup.  Two of their three parings have seen a quarter final and a runner-up.  The USA team of Jules van Dongen and Leonard Gates will play the loser of Austria-Denmark.  Assuming an Austria win the USA has a chance against Denmark.  Doubt they’ll get a win against Austria.  Just picture Gates setting up a double for Dongen.  The results could leave a 7, 5 or 13 instead of 40, 36 or 32.

#12 Canada (Matt Campbell, Jeff Smith) should have little trouble sending both India and Hungry home.  Then they have to hope for a decent 16 draw.  There’s no disputing that Campbell and Smith are at the top of their game.  The only danger is being overconfident.

Because of the rules it’s hard to see one of the top four teams not making it to the semifinals.  The spanner in the works could be Friday night’s random 16 draw.

Is there a top seed in danger?

Both #1 England (Michael Smith and Rob Cross) and #4 Scotland (Peter Wright and Gary Anderson), depending on the draw, could fall early.  Both players for England, at times, fall into double trouble.  If they do, simultaneously, the fat lady will sing.  Scotland got the #4 seed based on Peter Wright being #1 in the Order of Merit.  He is playing terrible which can’t be overcome by an improving Gary Anderson.

The ODC’s second favorite tournament was the Oregon Open.  First, a big “WHO HAW” congratulations to Sally Kelly as she wins her first WDF singes event at the Oregon Open.   

Oregon Open SNFU:  For years, the late Roger Crystal ran the Oregon Open like a fine watch.  Oh, how things have changed.  The mixed doubles round-robin is exhibit “A.”  The event was scheduled to start Saturday night at 7:30 and did.  The event attracted 25 pairs.  A few rounds were played.  Then, Canadian Suzie Letrud and a lady former PADA Board member decided to make changes.  “Neither had authority to make changes.”  It was done after play started and the tournament director, Paul Campell Jr., was chalking the men’s final.

When Paul finished chalking it “had all been messed up and teams started quitting.” The darts started again at 9:00 p.m.  One group was done wrong.  A team finished but didn’t pay one other team.  So, the event might be called a “broken winged round-robin.”

“Then, the same gaggle of three ladies didn’t know what to do as teams were quitting during round robin.”  Tournament Director Paul was so mad he left and said, “You figure it out.”  The KO round started at 2:20 a.m. but no one seems to know “how many teams actually played the knockout” – not even DartsConnect.  “Suzie Letrud tried to deny she was involved but she was sitting behind the desk, and she was drunk off her ass while doing it – the ladies ruined it all on their own.”

Why the change?  Reportedly, the ladies wanted more games to play.  Tournament director Paul Campell Jr. did a great job.  Make sure that gets in” wrote David Fatum.  Done.

And, oh yes – Suzie Letrud and her partner Kevin Luke didn’t get out of the round robin.  The Dart God, Tungsten Tillie, was watching.

RUMOR: The Las Vegas Open scheduled for January will not be held at the Tuscany Hotel/Casino.  A person, not authorized to speak, had the opinion the tournament will instead be held Rio Hotel/Casino.  That same person thinks part of the problem is that the Tuscany’s ADO point man, Matt Stoner, resigned as VP of the ADO.  He left for personal reasons.  A check of the ADO website informs that the Las Vegas Open hasn’t been approved and no flyer is available.

Here’s Rodney Dangerfield.  “I tell ya with girls, I don’t get no respect.  I had a date with a girl, I waited two hours at the corner.  A girl showed up.  I said, ‘Are you Louise?’  She said, ‘Are you Rodney?’  I said, ‘Yeah.’  She said, ‘I’m not Louise.’”

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.