Dartoids World


Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Column HR434 

It’s that time of year again that the Old Dart Coach loves – not because he gets to dress up or that he likes to say “Candy little girl?”.

No, it’s the time of year that he’s cherished since the day his ex crashed her Dollar Store broom into a power line.  Memories are made of this.

With the Ghost on the Coast (Myrtle Beach) tournament coming up this weekend it’s a treat for North American darters.  The Ghost has a prize fund of $25,000 plus a Saturday night “costume suggested” mixed triples.  It’s not ADO-sponsored which means no seeding in singles events.  That’s a treat for league players.

Others jumped the gun getting an early start collecting treats, none more so than Stowe Buntz who turned his three wins (Alex Spellman also had a hat trick) on the Championship Darts Circuit tour into a four-pack as he took the Continental Cup with an 8-4 win over Jason Brandon.  The three-day final event of the year for the CDC featured the best 16 of the North American males.  There were some treats and some tricks along the way.  That’s the nature of the game.

#10 seed Larry “The Eagle” Butler’s performance stood out in round one as the other 7 matches all went with the seeding.  Butler’s play broke the mold.  Playing against #7 Jim Long, Butler squeaked out a 5-4 win thanks to three big doubles.  He saved serve to level at 2 when he took out 113.  He then took out 65 to level at 3.  Level at 4, Butler used 15 darts with a T52 finish for the victory.  Thank you and good night.  “The Eagle” at times still soars, as high as he ever did.

Stowe Buntz cruised in the round of 16 with a 5-2 win over Jake Macmillan where Buntz averaged 104.15.  The best leg for Buntz was 12-darter that included a T52 close for a leg average of 125.16.  Buntz would take out Larry Butler 6-2 to reach the semifinals.

Jacob Taylor had eliminated #3 seed Leornard Gates 6-1 propelling Taylor into the semis.  Buntz fell behind Taylor 2-1 but then had a run of 6 for the 7-2 win to advance into the finals.

The finals between Buntz and Jason Brandon promised to be a treat.  Jason Brandon had taken out #1 seed Alex Spellman 6-5 in a great shoot out.  Spellman had a 3-1 lead which became level at 5 heading into the decider.  Spellman had three darts from 48, none of which worked allowing Brander 7 from 40 for the leg and the win.  #8 Brandon then took out #4 seed Canadian David Cameron.

In the final both Buntz and Brandon had three leg runs to level at 3.  Buntz broke for 4-3 and followed with a hold for 5-3.  Each player then held – Buntz won the decider in 15 darts for the title.

In the Motha Country Gary Anderson came dressed as a dart player.  Darned if he wasn’t.  He continued his resurgence with a big money weekend at the four Players Championship events.  For the weekend Anderson captured a win and 2 quarter finals worth a hefty £18,000 (or $21,943.30).  Anderson’s win was the Andersen of old that included a 9-darter for good measure.

Against Danny Noppert in a 6-4 quarter win, Anderson fell behind 4-2 – but then came legs of 16, 11, 12 and 14 providing a 107.02 game average.  Anderson took out Wales’ Jimmy Williams 7-5 setting up a final against Josh Rock who has made a name for himself since emerging from the Junior ranks.  Rock has become the #1 Northern Ireland player.

Rock held the first leg but then got hit with an avalanche of four Anderson wins in 12, 16, 14 and 15.  The 12-darter broke Rock’s serve.  Rock got a pair back for 5-4 – then Andersen took three for the 8-4 win.  The win and the money move Anderson to #19 on the Order of Merit (from out of the top 32).  Good on him.

A big treat coming up for the PDC this week (Thursday-Sunday) is the European Championship in Dortmund.  It’s a £500,000 (or $608,156.63) event.  The 32 that qualify will collect £6,000 each – even with a first round loss.  The winner will scoop up £120,000 (or $146,006).  The usual suspects are favored.

There is one aspect that separates the PDC from other sanctioning organizations.  They put big money in the pockets of darts players, and they are professionally run.

The most recent example is the PDC announcement of the 2024 Premier League.  In 2022, the format changed into a mini tournament.  This change brought criticism from some quarters (read: players).  Prior to the 2024 announcement a few keyboard warriors also made their views known…

PDC Major Domo, Matt Porter responded, stating firmly, “Their opinions are perfectly valid but ultimately, our opinion is the one that will get done.  No, we’re not looking at anything significant this year.”

The Golden Age Dart Players and the Stacy Bromberg Senior Open (January 19-20, 2024) got a great treat when John Lowe MBE donated a current playing shirt (autographed) for the Senior Open Auction on Friday night.  Mr. Lowe added a set of his limited-edition MBE Golden Unicorn darts, extra shafts, flights and an autographed wallet (dart case).

Mr. Lowe joins Bob Anderson in donating an autographed playing shirt.  If anyone wants to bid via email send your bid to [email protected].

Mr. Lowe and Bob Anderson are two greats from the world of darts showing the class that is lacking today.  Example: two current PDC stars, via their representatives, were asked to donate.  The response?  Silence – nothing but crickets from guys in kilts for an auction that is donating 100% of the proceeds to Make-A-Wish – a charity that puts smiles on the faces of terminally ill children.  Baaaad – and shame on both of them and their representatives.

The ODC will dress as a dart player this Halloween.  He did the same last year and was bombarded with jeers by people yelling “FRAUD!”.

Trick or treat or both?  Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.  Jill came down with $50 and not a drop of water.

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.