Dartoids World

Column #HR453 Number 13… lucky?

Thursday, May 2, 2024
Column HR453
Number 13… lucky?

It’s often heard that the number 13 is lucky.   The Old Dart Coach, who resides in Las Vegas, knows this may not be the case.  For example, if you were playing 21 (used to be called Blackjack but the name was changed – seems it was offensive to people named Jack) and had you drawn cards that equaled 13 (with the dealer showing a face card up) you would be in deep trouble.

The Premier Langue entered week 13 of its 16-week 2014 season.  For one Nathan Aspinall it wasn’t lucky for him in the end (although it was lucky for him in the beginning). The Liverpool setting seemed perfect as Aspinall started off with a 6-2 win over Luke Humphries. Shooting 6 of 8 on doubles, with an average of 102, the win helped Aspinall as he fights to make the playoffs just three weeks away.  He’s 1 point adrift of Humphries for second place behind Luke Littler who sits atop the standings.

The semifinal pitted Aspinall against Luke Littler (who turned the number 13 into a bad omen for Aspinall).  They were tied a 2 after Aspinall missed 3 from 36 presenting Littler a chance to draw level in 17 darts.  Aspinall would utilize 29 darts to be propelled into a 4-2 lead and then extended that lead to 5-2 after Littler missed the big Bull – “The Asp” erased 76 after he hit 75 in the previous leg.

Aspinall then had more problems than a mermaid trying to do the splits.  Litler drilled home an 11-darter for 3-5.  Thanks to a pair of missed Aspinall doubles Littler narrowed the gap to 4-5.  With an assist from two more Aspinall missed doubles, Littler then drew level in 18 darts. Littler took the decider in 14 darts for the 6-5 win.  In all Aspinall missed 4 match darts in two legs.  Bummer.

Littler would go on to defeat Rob Cross 6-2 in the final.  Littler took out T11 (T17, 20, d20) in the opening leg after Cross missed the Big Bull from 126.  Building on success, Littler then captured the next 4 legs for a 5-0 advantage in the race to 6.  Cross would get 2 legs to escape the “Snyder” (being blanked for non-Cribbage players) when Littler took a playing pause.

This week, the Premier League arrives in Aberdeen with the top four spots pretty much decided.  The opening round has Peter Wright vs. Michael Smith, Luke Littler vs. Nathan Aspinall, Michael van Gerwen vs. Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price vs. Luke Humphries.

The Euro Tour played in Austria last week.  The country is famous for bringing to the world: Wienerschnitzel, a bad painter who almost ruled the world and the Viennese Waltz.

Luke Littler waltzed through the field like “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” – a tune from 1867.  Only one of Littler’s matches came down to a decider.

Danny Noppert and Littler were tied at 3 as Littler surged ahead with legs of 13 and 12 – the latter with a T48 (T18, T18, d20) finish as Noppert found no doubles.  Littler’s lead became 5-4 after Noppert checked 88 (T20, 14, d7) check that was aided by Litler missing 4 from 60.

Noppert would force an 11th leg in 20 darts after Littler missed 2 from 40.  Littler took the 11th leg with ease in 17 darts.

Ross Smith has been playing well lately but ran into a buzz saw against Littler who averaged 105.65 in the 7-2 win. Smith would take the initial leg and be level at 2 when the tsunami hit.

Joe Cullen was having his best Euro Tour of the year after not doing much in 2024.  He reached the final after a 7-5 win over Stephen Bunting.  Bunting took an early 2-0 lead which included a 12-darter with a T21 (25, T20, d18) check in the second.  Cullen got on the board after Bunting missed the T13 finished (when he missed d11).  Cullen, whose throw is as smooth as a baby’s bottom, got even in 15 and 11 darts.  Cullen rolled into a 5-2 lead and had a great chance to extend his lead only to fail to finish from 36 with two allowing Bunting to answer in 19.  With Cullen at 6-3 Bunting got the score to 6-5 with a pair in 15 and 14 darts. Cullen closed things in 15 for the 7-5 win.

Littler and Cullen were all square after 6 legs went with the throw.  Littler broke, then held for 5-3.  Then Cullen broke for 4-5 – but Littler lowered the boom like the Roadrunner often did to Wiley Coyote.  Littler rolled 8-4 with a 102.71 average.  This was Littler’s second Euro Tour win.

While the PDC has yet to specifically address the “feel like a woman men” wanting to compete against women the World Dart Federation has posted their position.

“The WDF believes in equal opportunity for all people to participate in the sport of darts, as athletes, coaches, officials, staff and other volunteers.  However, in instances where a transgender individual wishes to compete, the WDF will consider eligibility guidelines to ensure a fair and level playing field for all participants.”

Talk about a word salad statement, the likes of which is common in today’s society…

To qualify a transgender “male to female” must: submit documentation from a medical practitioner that gender reassignment has been ongoing for at least one year, submit documentation from a medical practitioner that gender reassignment is ongoing, and will be required to show an official government-issued ID that indicates their gender.

Athletes, coaches, officials, etc. must be aware that they may be subject to doping control testing and also to the WDF Anti-Doping Policy according to the gender provided at registration or after declaration, as applicable.

A “report” presented to WDF countries states that the “report took into account existing research from strength and precision sports, as well as the potential legal and human rights violations that could arise should transgender participation be revoked.”

Ultimately, that report concluded: “Until there are clearer studies on the visuospatial differences, the WDF will continue to permit transgender female athletes to play in WDF Ranked Women’s tournaments as per the existing Transgender Policy.”

The question is: who wrote the report?  As is, it reflects the opinion of someone that knows nothing of the sport or has no common sense.

Finally, both Nathan Aspinall and Michael Smith were no shows for last week’s Euro Tournament.  It seems that directly after Thursday night’s Premier League they hopped a plane for fun and frolic in Las Vegas.  While in Las Vegas they failed to check in with the Old Dart Coach, so he removed them from his Christmas card list.  That’ll teach ’em.

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.