Category Archives: Darts

Paul Lim – A Global Legend

Merely weeks after this article appeared, in Darts World Magazine, Paul Lim claimed his place at the 2020 PDC World Championships. Perhaps, there is still more left to be written:

Paul Lim may perfectly symbolize the future of darts. The legendary ‘Singapore Slinger’, now 66, is certainly the ultimate Hybrid darter. He has played big-time darts for almost forty years and been successful in every arena and format the game has offered. 

His overall significance to the sport may outweigh any of his individual achievements, although there are so many it’s hard to be certain. Target’s ‘Legend’ has triumphed in the BDO as well as in the PDC, he has twice been a world champion in soft tip darts, almost twenty years and two different codes separated his 1996 and 2017 triumphs.  

In between these individual efforts, Paul has represented four different nations in World Cups and team events. Dart’s World would not bet against him reappearing, and succeeding, in the remote darts realm. 

Lim burst onto the professional scene by winning the Australian Grand Masters in 1983, over the next half dozen years Lim made a plethora of quarter and semi-final appearances in major steel tip events, including the World Cup Singles and World Matchplay, across the globe. Then in 1990 Lim wrote his name indelibly in darts history. 

John Lowe had hit the first TV perfect leg a few years before. Yet, none had been hit since until Lim stepped up to the Lakeside oche. Nine sublime darts later the Singapore ace hit a plumb double twelve to complete the first World Championship ‘Nine’! A brief look on YouTube shows just how clean and controlled his effort was. Lim was now an icon in the game. 

BBC Sport - Darts - Paul Lim's nine-dart finish in 1990
Lim on his way to the first World Championship ‘9’.

Sadly, Paul’s great moment coincided with a decline in the TV popularity of steel tip darts, especially in the UK. Lim continued to play the biggest events but could not sustain himself with that alone. In an effort to boost his career and earning potential he combined his steel tip efforts with North American soft-tip tournament. Again, his efforts paid off in a major way.  

In 1996 Lim claimed his first World title. His victory in the Bull Shooter soft–tip championships confirmed that he could play at an elite level in either format, something he has continued to the present day. 

During the following years Lim became what in other sports would be considered a’ journeyman pro’ he played the major events in both formats. In addition, he demonstrated he could play in any company. From 1994 Lim played within the PDC system and competed with players such as Phil Taylor and Dennis Priestley. 

For most of this period Lim was based in either the USA Japan or his native Singapore. However, by the 2000s Paul was no longer reaching the later stages or collecting serious prize money and a great career looked to be winding down. Then something remarkable happened, in 2011 soft tip darts underwent a major makeover and guess who became its instant poster boy! 

As part of a re-packaging, of the machine based soft tip game, a $1,000,000 World Championship was held in Hong Kong. In a field packed full of soft-tip super stars, and steel tip icons, Lim came through to claim the title aged 57 (something about that number Wayne Warren?). 

In a remarkable piece of happenstance, the PDC arranged a commercial tie-up with the new DartsLive organisation, which Lim was already dominating, an extended an invitation to their champion to play the PDC World Championship at Ally Pally! The following year he qualified again via the  Dartslive route. 

By now Paul had completely mastered the art of playing hybrid darts. He seemed focused on soft-tip in Asia and still crossed back and forth to play PDC events including World Cups. His gentlemanly demeanor and iconic status ensured he became a firm favourite with the fans. But Lim was not merely a performing seal and not yet finished with creating moments of darting drama. 

Paul Lim - Home | Facebook

In 2017 Singapore pulled of one of the biggest shocks seen in the PDC’s World Cup of darts, when they defeated Scotland’s crack team of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright. They went on to defeat Spain in round-two and reach the Qtrs finals. The very next year Lim created a moment of almost perfect sporting nostalgia, the opponent/ Why Gary Anderson of course. 

The 2018 World Championship saw Lim roll back the years and defeat former World Champion Mark Webster. His last 16 game featured a remarkable moment. Lim seemed to be tired and started slowly, before suddenly producing six perfect darts. The crowd realised what could be happening, his opponent, Anderson, knew what was happening, but could it? Could lightning strike twice nearly thirty years apart? 

Paul Lim, 63 years old was about to complete a phenomenal legacy of global, multi format, multi code and multi era darting glory. The perfect bookend to a remarkable journey! 

The first two darts found their targets and with a near hysterical crowd Lim went to release the 9th dart. In a highly unusual moment, there was a very faint twitch and the dart missed the double twelve bed. The disappointment was universal, Anderson looked almost as crestfallen as Paul! Despite the miss Paul was lauded around  the globe and the reminder of his remarkable career.  

Just in case you think the story is over, think again! In 2018 the PDC launched their Asian (Steel tip) tour and yes, you guessed it the first Tai Pai weekend saw one player reach the final of event one and then win event two. That player? Paul Lim. 


Update: Despite the huge disruption to the 2020 season, caused by the Corona virus, Paul qualified for the World Championship by claiming the Hong Kong qualifying event. He again caused an upset by defeating two time qtr finalist Luke Humphries, in the first round, before bowing out to Dimitri Van den Bergh.


JR Lott writes a Lott! Follow him @JRLott2 

Unsung Heroes – Tony Brown

For the revamped darts world debut edition we needed a special player, who has not had the credit they deserve, a follower suggested Tony Brown. We were then delighted when his daughter popped up in enthusiastic support.

Tony claimed the first Dart World KO Cup in Oldham during 1977 and retained it the following year. It seems fitting that Darts World acknowledged him in the first of their new editions (Issue 570)!

​MEMORIES, good days, bad days. They’ll be with me always.” The famous lyrics of ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’, the biggest No.1 hit of 1977. It was the year that Abba dominated the music charts. Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny, and Björn were the biggest smash. But, in sporting terms, a new hero was born.

In a smoky, stuffy studio in Leeds, the now legendary Indoor League uncovered a winning star in Tony Brown. It was the stuff of arrows folklore. TV commentating gurus Dave Lanning and Sid Waddell calling the shots and producing a show fronted by Fred Trueman. This show had a notably northern, working-class focus, and featured pub games such as darts, bar billiards, shove ha’penny, skittles, and arm-wrestling. Trueman anchored the program with a pint of bitter and his pipe to hand, and signed off each week with his catchphrase, “Ah’ll sithee”. In that year of ’77, Brown saw ‘em all off as the Indoor League champion…and a fabulous career was off and running.

Born in Dover just as World War II was in its last throes of bitter battle, Brown was the original bridesmaid of the board, so close but so far to glory in a glittering period in the limelight. Not surprisingly in an era of huge characters with the likes of Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Alan Evans, Jocky Wilson, and Leighton Rees, that he didn’t manage to steal the biggest headlines. But he got very near to. Now, 75, Brown made a huge contribution in dart’s first glorious era. In the late 70s and early 80s, he competed with the greats of the time and often vested them. Tony claimed the first darts World KO Cup in Oldham during 1977, it was a tough event with county play-off s producing half the last 16 who then played off against an invited eight ‘star’ names.

As you can see from the June 1979 Darts World story Brown defeated John Lowe in that first final, remarkably retaining his title the following year. On an individual level, Brown claimed the Indoor League and British Open titles in 1977 and ’79 respectively. He was placed third in the World Championships in 1979 and 1980 as well as being World Masters Runner up in the former. Darting contemporary Linda Duffy remembers him fondly stating:

“What a great player, too often overshadowed by Eric and John.”


Unusually, it was in multiplayer or Team events where Brown really showed his real talent. Winning the World Pairs, Europe Cup, and World Cup as part of a very strong England team. But, in no way was Brown a weaker member of such an illustrious outfit. He won the Europe Cup singles event and was third in the World Cup equivalent.

Tony Brown collecting another winner’s cheque

Brown could also entertain, according to Doug McCarthy he was one of only two players who could stand at the oche with a dart in each hand, throw them simultaneously and get them both within the treble ring. A useful pub party piece not doubt! Brown was one of the founders, along with Dave Whitcombe and Lowey, of the PDPA and as such played a role in the establishment of the WDC/PDC that plays such a strong role in the modern game. After stepping back from the playing circuit in the mid80s Tony reappeared 25 years later, then aged 64, in the Dover Darts League singles. He reached the semi-finals, losing to the eventual winner.

Tony was also spotted, according to many darting archives, making a one-off appearance in the PDC in 2010 at the Australian Players Championship, however, this may be an urban myth. His daughter assures us that her father did not feature in such an event. She should know, after all, she has been with her dad in many great darting moments including the lovely one of the ‘Darts Family Brown’ featured in our 92nd Issue in July 1980.

The darts family Brown from Darts World 570



Kelly admits:
“I am still Kelly Brown, the baby in the photo (above) except I’m now 40! “My dad is now a grandad to six and a great grandad to one. He lives in Dover and has a lovely partner, Carol.

“His favourite player now is Michael Smith because his style and natural ability remind him of how he used to play. “Until recently he played in the local league but does not play any darts now.

“It’s really great to be able to read about my dad’s darts history as I was only a baby at the time so have no memories of my own. It’s good to see him recognised for his talent.”

In a sport littered by legends, Brown is right up there with the greatest, just a tad more unsung than those giants. He wasn’t quite, as Abba stated, Winner, Takes It All.

But he won our hearts and respect.

——ENDS——
Featured images: Darts World 570
Body text image: Darts World archive​

The Immortals – Eric Bristow – How Good Was ‘The Crafty Cockney’?

Darts’ favourite son would have been 63 years old this year. One of the founders of our feast, and easily the game’s most intriguing character, Eric is remembered for many different things, by differing generations. But it should never be forgotten that he really could play!

Eric Bristow Passes Away | PDC
Eric accepts adulation (Pic: L Lustig)

Along the wall in my ‘darts space’ are a few framed photos on prominent display. Each features a player who has made a contribution to the  game or offers an interesting lesson for the players that visit.

We were recently visited by a very senior figure in the darts business. As the conversation flowed our guest happened to glance at the ‘Hall of Fame’ and asked why each player was there. We soon arrived at the largest photo; this signed early 1980’s shot, of The Crafty Cockney, signifies the invention, and perfection, of the player package.

To my great surprise, the reply came “Yes, but was he really that good?”. I gave the short version of Eric’s ability but was absolutely amazed that the question was asked. But as time passes, new generations have naturally come to the game in the era of The Power, Fordham, Hankey and MVG. Their view of those who built the platform, for today’s icons, is similar to how we might look back at black and
white footage of golfers, tennis stars or footballers.

But it will not stand that they, and Eric especially, should simply merge in with a group of dimly remembered figures. By almost every measure Eric ranks as one of the top three players to have played the professional game, and there is a very strong case for him to be the most important:

The Big One

The Crafty Cockney, starting when only 23 years old, won five world championships, in seven years, including two back-to-backs and a hattrick. It is often forgotten that he also reached another five finals. Every win was over a top-five player and every loss was to a darting titan. During this entire period, there was only one World Championship, and it featured every top professional in the field. The format
was also very short in the early rounds.

Eric Bristow - Mastercaller.com
5 World Titles, in a unified field. Only ‘The Power’ claimed more

There is no one, other than Phil Taylor, who gets close to Eric’s effort. After Barney joined the PDC in 2007 you could make a case for the field being similarly strong to those from pre-1994. ‘The Power’ claimed only three World titles over the next decade.

The Full House

The second greatest event during this era was the World Masters. It was incredibly difficult to win, being unseeded and played from floor to stage. Eric won his first Masters at the age of 20 and claimed a total of five between 1977 and 1984. No player, from any era, has gotten close to this. Bob Anderson’s three in a row was outstanding and, perhaps, the closest there will ever be. Eric also claimed back-to-back News of the World events, one of only three to do so, and the World Cup singles crown four times on the bounce. Neither Phil nor MVG managed to add the World Cup Singles to their lists.

In addition, Eric won multiple versions of the Matchplay (British and World), The Grand Masters, Golden Arrows and every other major/TV event available to him. Even after his glory years he picked up a World Pair title (PDC) to go with his earlier WDF version. All-in-all Eric collected a total of over thirty ‘major’ events, in a day when there were far fewer, and with a united field of the highest quality.

Performance Level:

With the modern obsession with averages the fact that current players hit 100+ averages at a stroll is often used to belittle those who have gone before. This, however, is both false and unfair. Eric hit what he needed to hit to subdue his opponent and win the match. His 103+ to defeat Jocky Wilson in the 1983 World Cup final and his 101 to defeat Kieth Deller in the 1983 Masters (final again!) were remarkable at the time and would stand up in many finals today. The Crafty Cockney recorded a 105+ vs Alan Glazier earlier in 1983; this remained unbeaten until Phil Taylor claimed a 107+ eight year later.

Two matches that demonstrate Eric’s ability are the final of the World Masters in 1984 and the World Championship Final of 1985. They display his sheer talent and his matchplay and psychology skills in perfect harmony. Deller was defeated as much by psychology as by scoring, whereas Lowe was battered into submission with a blizzard of 180’s in the early stages. (Check them out on You Tube!)

As a final point it should be remembered that as well as the natural advance of any skill over time, the equipment and technology improvements that have been made since 1983 have been dramatic. Darts, stems and flights but especially boards and professionalism, have developed massively. The scoring areas of modern boards (especially in the PDC) are considerably larger and no longer surrounded by rounded wires, staples and other such obstacles. Combined with the conditions, security of income and volume of opportunities to play top-level darts, the modern player has a big advantage.

If we grant Eric even 10 percent, for these handicaps, his performance level would move up to around 115+. This would put him straight into the top three of all time! (Add in his usual determination to be the best and who knows?)

The Complete Package:

In addition to Eric’s remarkable ability, and phenomenal winning record, it should not be forgotten that true ‘oche legends’ are not only remembered for their scoring, or finishing, alone. They are remembered for a mix of their sporting prowess, on-stage image, off-stage personality and what they bring to, and leave for, their sport. Bristow brought us an unmatched package of skill, unrivalled competitiveness, pomp, aggression, flair and humour.

Eric Bristow created the template for the professional dart player. He also went out and sold it to the world. It is very hard to think of any other player, past or present, who can compete on those terms.

Yes, The Crafty Cockney really was that good, please don’t forget it!


Words: J.R. Lott (Article originally appeared on Darts Planet TV in April 2020)

180 Second Video Review of the Daryl Gurney SE

A.I.M: spend quite a large percentage of our time testing and reviewing darts. It can help us solve problems for specific players and in designing products to meets their needs.

So far the Daryl Gurney SE has proven our most highly rated dart (9.5 out of 10!) Along the way we filmed some of our thoughts and reactions and produced a couple of video reviews. While not Spielberg like (Yet!) we hope they are useful to you.

There are two versions one a full 11 mins long and the other, a highlights or snapshot version, coming in at 180 seconds! The shorter is embedded here:

Our reviews have been used by major manufacturers and published in various magazines including Darts World and at dartsworld.com. See the online written version here:

https://www.dartsworld.com/snapshot-review-daryl-gurney-special-edition/


Snakebite Euro 11 Element (Blue) from Red Dragon – In Depth Review

Snakebite Euro 11 (Element Blue) – The SnapShot Review.

By CJ Harris-Hulme -January 15, 2020

A.I.M: contributed to the “Choose Your Weapons” section of http://dartsworld.com. Darts World Magazine kindly provided the test set.

Snakebite set a World Record with his ‘Element Blue ‘ during 2019
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG.
  • Product: Darts (Steel Tip) 
  • Brand: Red Dragon 
  • Model Name: Euro 11 – Element Blue (Peter Wright) 
  • Variation / Edition: 24g 

General Summary: 

Element Blue are a superbly built, and finely engineered, addition to the, Premium Player, section of the market. Originally commissioned to celebrate the World Cup Peter & Gary Anderson’s World Cup of Darts win. Also used by Peter Wright in setting his 2019 World Record Average from on-line specialist Red Dragon darts. 

The element (diamond) grip is complimented by colourful a ‘Snakebite’ theme

For such a seriously gripped and engineered dart it has a remarkably slim feel and look. Later the Red Dragon Element (Fusion Diamond) Grip was added to an edition and know it has been coloured blue! The grip is both impressive and unusual.  

Element Blue will suit most players, especially those with a lighter grip. Direct throwers will be captured! 

Cost: At just under £70, ‘Blue’ are a premium piece of design, production and performance that you would expect. (http://www.reddragondarts.com/peter-wright-snakebite-euro-11-blue-element-world-cup-se-24-gram)

As supplied, the 24g edition.

What’s In the Box:  

Snakebite Euro 11 Element (Blue)come in the recent type, Peter Wright styled, pull-out box. Inside are three barrels, three nitro stems (White) and a set of Peter Wright, std shape, flights. 

Tester Quotes:

“MVG might get even better with these, especially worn in ones” ….Our Serious Amateur

“I love the grip, it’s quite aggressive yet, it feels less likely to stick than deep/sharp grooves” ….. Our Pub Player

Testing Process: A.I.M: used three different players, one elite, one strong amateur and one ‘pub’ player, and subjected ‘Blue’ to a variety of throw styles, conditions and set ups. In total over one hundred legs with a four-figure total of darts thrown. Our testers used ‘Element Blue’ in competitive practice, training drills, over a weekend for social games, a practise session and a league knockout. 

In addition to the supplied set up, Snakebite Flights & Nitro Stems, players were asked to try their preferred combination or any other set up they felt might work. 

A 20g (Soft Tip) version is also available.

Variations:  Element Blue is available in soft tip at 20g as well as the 24g steel tip tested here. The traditional silver/grey model is also available in a 20g version. 

The Results:  All three of our testers were impressed with the general look of the Element model. The diamond grip intrigued them whilst the blue/purple colour was deemed attractive and “not too harsh on the eye”. Two of our three players liked the initial feel of the dart in their hand. The words ‘different’ and ‘corse’ were popular.  

Downsides:  Our players rated the looks, production and initial feel, of the dart, very highly. However, it became clear that the ‘Element Blue’ took a bit of getting used to and that some players would not adjust. The diamond fusion is more a surface than a grip and some felt unsure of its feel. A firmest holder also felt it was just too aggressive, the sheer complexity of the grip gives the impression of a fatter, not consistent, middle section of the dart although he did accept that a worn set might be perfect! 

The Tech Bit:  For a heavily engineered dart ‘Element Blue’come in at a slim 6.5mm wide. The distinctive cosmetics and grip pattern combine to create the impression of an even slimmer model. The 54.6mm length is at the longer end of the spectrum and is advantageous to the direct thrower. The slightly rounded ‘nose cone’ area is essential on a long dart with pronounced grip as it enables a confidence in “going at the target”. The diamond coated(blue coloured) ring grips provide high quality grip that will mould to the user over time. 

The supplied set-up: Snakebite Flight & Nitro Stem.

Set Ups: 

Blue are supplied with a ‘Player Set Up’ of Snakebite Blk Flights & Medium Nitro Stems. This set up works well for the majority of throwers and is very high quality for an included item. The length of the dart seems to lead to no nonsense set ups. Two of our testers preferred a shorter stem version of the set-up, claiming a significant improvement in fluency. 

Durability: Blue stood up very well over the 1000+ darts that we subjected them to. The diamond grip does cause an increase in marks to the smooth areas of the darts, diamond is seriously hard after all! The colour scheme, and styling, of the ‘Element Blue’ seemed to distract from this in a better way than the silver/grey versions. 

The Snap ShotAll our testers agreed that the ‘Element Blue’ is a superb looking dart, a considerable upgrade on the looks of std version. It was also agreed that those who throw very directly will buy in most. The grips are quite aggressive and take a little getting used to. The cost, whilst high, is definitely justified by the tech and design that has gone into the end result. A firm thrower, who has a lighter grip will benefit most ironically an MVG type might gain the most! It is possible that a worn set of ‘Blue’ may well be even better than a sparkly new threesome.  


A version of this review appeared in Darts World Magazine (Feb 2020) and online here: http://www.dartsworld.com/category/choose-your-weapons/

Darting Millions – Six Who Hit The Magic Mark.

The earning power of dart players has soared in recent years. Gone are the days of the top players, or even the second rank, having to scratch around to supplement their darts earnings in order to pay the bills or even carry on playing.

JAMES WADE & ROB CROSS Winners of darting millions. PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG:

Today players in the PDC top 32 are winning over £50k a year. Add in a few exhibitions, and good sponsorship deals and very healthy living can be earned without claiming multiple titles or shining on the TV.

Premium Dart Data (@premiumdartdata) recently pointed out that six players have earned over £1,000,000 from just 6 PDC major events (WC, WM, WGP, Open, GSoD & PCFs) :

  • Phil Taylor – £4,434,000
  • MVG – £3,539,500
  • G Anderson – £1,959,740
  • Adrian Lewis – £1,567,250
  • J Wade – £1,525,750
  • Raymond Van Barneveld – £1,395,750

We looked a little further and these guys are not the only ones to have claimed £million + in prize money. Counting 1975 as a decent starting point, and going right up to the present day, almost twenty players have claimed at least 1,000,000 during their career:

Thanks to dartsdatabase.com

RankPlayerCountryPrize
1Phil TaylorEngland£7,634,754
2Michael van GerwenNetherlands£7,426,167
3Gary AndersonScotland£3,850,772
4Raymond van BarneveldNetherlands£3,452,378
5James WadeEngland£3,232,143
6Adrian LewisEngland£2,982,634
7Peter WrightScotland£2,527,638
8Simon WhitlockAustralia£1,998,249
9Dave ChisnallEngland£1,711,665
10Mervyn KingEngland£1,620,858
11Michael SmithEngland£1,437,685
12Terry JenkinsEngland£1,348,883
13Robert ThorntonScotland£1,294,126
14Mensur SuljovicAustria£1,219,367
15Rob CrossEngland£1,188,600
16Daryl GurneyNorthern Ireland£1,090,450
17Andy HamiltonEngland£1,078,794
18Ian WhiteEngland£1,034,058
19Steve BeatonEngland£1,008,055

It is remarkable that MVG will pass Taylor’s career prize money within the next twelve months. As well as showing Micheal’s remarkable talent it also shows how the earning power has increased in the last few years.

Last player to reach the £1miilion mark! Pic: PDC

Perhaps the most noteworthy contrast in the table is both Daryl Gurney and Rob Cross earning over £1million in a very few years. Meanwhile, Steve Beaton has just reached the million mark after a career spanning a mere 35 years!


A version of this piece first appeared in Darts World Magazine in June 2019. http://www.dartsworld.com

Featured Pic : PDC

World Championship ‘9 Darters’ – Palace Perfection.

As part of our contribubion to “The Darts World Championship Ultimate Guide, 2019 A.I.M: looked at those perfect palace moments:

9 Darters – Palace Perfection 

In any sport there are moments of perfection, think Torvil & Dean or Nadia Comenech, darts is no exception. Over the years improving standards, combined with near perfect playing conditions, have ensured that darting perfection, the nine dart leg, is hit with increasing regularity. Yet, hitting one on the biggest possible stage, on live TV, under the greatest of pressure is still very rare indeed. Think Cliff Thorburn at The Crucible. 

I suspect a certain Mr Taylor has never forgiven RVB for this!

Breaking the Duck 

No player had managed the perfect leg in the PDC World Championship since its beginnings in 1994. By 2010 it seemed that the incentive of a place in the history books was weighing heavily on players’ shoulders. Raymond van Barneveld had other ideas. The setting was a Qtr final vs his countryman Jelle Klaasen. RVB went the traditional route (180,180, T20, T19, D12) and appeared as relaxed as he might in a local exhibition.  

Lightning Strikes Twice 

To prove it was no fluke Barney repeated the trick in 2011. In fact, the only difference from the 2010 version, were his darts, he had switched to a golden set up, and his reactions. In scenes reminiscent of his 2007 World Championship win, Barney was as delighted, and emotional, as many could remember seeing him. 

The Final Countdown 

Perhaps the most remarkable of the perfect legs seen at The Alexandra Palace was struck in 2011. To mark the third consecutive year, that at least one perfect leg was thrown, Adrian Lewis became the first to hit one in the final. Incredibly ‘Jackpot’ hit it in only the third leg! Another of the popular 180 x 2 and 141(T20, T19, D12) route. The nonchalance with which Lewis accepted the crowd’s applause showed a player, at the very peak of his powers, for whom it was simply a matter of time. 

Winstanley Goes Wild 

Darts very own Pat Cash moment? Where did he go?

After a barren year, in 2012, darting perfection returned with a bang in 2013. ‘Over the Top’, as Dean Winstanley is known, certainly lived up to his nickname. Dean found a superb sequence of darts hitting six treble 20s without going near a wire. After completing the 141, in the usual way, he was overcome with a spirit of Pat Cash. Winstanley, like the Australian tennis champion, sprinted out of shot and, reacted with an unrestrained joy that endeared him to all watching.  

All the Right Darts, Not Necessarily in The Right Order? 

In the same 2013 tournament Micheal van Gerwen added his name to the roll of honour. In his semi-final, against James Wade, MVG became the first to hit 9 perfect darts but not going the conventional order. He still hit 7 Treble 20s, treble 19 and double 12, but hit the T19 on his second turn in order to leave 144. 

Perfection, Repetition & Despair 

In 2014 both Kyle Anderson and Terry Jenkins hit 9 darters. Both players lost the match. 2015 featured a repeat performance from Adrian Lewis. Jackpot joined Barney in the club of multiple 9 dart hitters at the World Championships. The most recent 9 example of palace perfection was Gary Anderson, Gary hit his perfect leg, in 2016, vs Jelle Klaasen. Poor Klaasen became the first to have two thrown against him! 

The Founder of the Feast. 

Legendary Lim hits the firstWorld Championship 9 darter

No discussion of World Championship 9 darters would be complete without ‘The Legend’ that is Paul Lim. Paul bridges the two golden eras of professional darts and is still going. In 1990 he hit a superb 9 dart leg vs Ireland’s Jack McKenna. Although it was hit at Lakeside there was only one world championship at that time and the feat had never been completed before. Only two years ago Lim threatened to repeat the feat almost thirty years later. After 8 perfect darts, and at the age of 63, Lim narrowly missed the double twelve. Perhaps he will get another chance at that unique fairytale during this year’s event? 


Palace perfection appears in full, with more extensive links and graphic illustration, the Ultimate Guide : https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

Purple Patches – When Darters Get ‘In The Zone’.

2019’s German Darts Open produced several superb performances, Nathan Aspinall improved his onstage average personal best by over three and a half points. RVB went back to basics with his darts and recaptured some stage form, whilst Steve Beaton, with as smooth a 9 darter as you will ever see, reminded everyone that his remarkable career was far from over.

Much of the social media and commentary chatter centred around the latest set of unreal statistics from MVG. Official PDC statistician and DartsWorld contributor Christopher Kemph (@ochepedia) summed it up simply:

“23 consecutive wins in Euro Tour last-leg deciders, 24 consecutive wins in Pro Tour finals and 26 consecutive wins in Pro Tour best-of-13 and best-of 15 matches. It just goes on and on…”

In all professional sports, the greatest players seem to hit purple patches. This can be due to their own standards increasing, the opposition becoming intimidated or a little of both. Think Rafa Nadal at the French Open, Ed Moses over the 400m hurdles or Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’. We tried to recall some other tremendous winning streaks witnessed in darts?

In PDC ranking events both MVG & Phil Taylor have recorded 8 consecutive tournament wins. In 2016 Micheal claimed The World Matchplay, 3 Euro Tour events and then 4 Pro Tours, hitting two 9 darters along the way! During a phenomenal run in 2009, ‘The Power’ also claimed 8 back-to-back ranking titles. After winning that years’ World Championship Taylor won 6 Pro Tour events in a row, during that run he added the Players Championship Finals. Incredibly this winning streak came in the middle of a run of 20 consecutive appearances in ranking finals!

Richard Ashdown dropped us a reminder of the efforts of John Walton. John’s 2001 run to the BDO World Title included defeats of Merv King in the last 16 and Mark Puso. The final two legs of the former and the first 14 vs Pusa ensured a consecutive run of 16 legs in-a-row, surely difficult to improve on given the formats available.

‘Mile High’ Produced a superb effort of 21 consecutive legs during 2011.

On the floor, or non-televised, the best AIM: can recall is a run of 21 consecutive legs over 4 matches. Mark Hylton came from 0-2 down to defeat Dylan Duo 6-2 before defeating MVG and Ronnie Baxter 6-0. In his fourth match, he took a 3-0 lead vs Dennis Ovens before ‘The Heat’ got his name on the scoreboard.

Hylton went on to reach the semi-final that day but also produced a similar performance at the UK Open of 2011. In his last 96 tie Mark lost the first leg to Geoff Whitworth before dealing off the next 4 to move into the L64. Owing to an unusual mix of circumstances he managed to produce a whitewash victory over Andy Jenkins 9-0 and in his last 32 match his was 6-0 ahead before Andy Gilding prevented another bagel from being presented. Thus Mile High recorded a total of 19 consecutive legs without reply during the later stages of a PDC major!

I am sure must be many examples of such runs being put together, but they fail to get noticed. A Midlands / Staffs league player reported that one player had gone almost two complete seasons unbeaten, only being, finally, defeated by hospitalisation!

Drop us a line if you have any notable examples of outstanding runs of performance.


A version of the above article appeared at Darts World during 2019. (http://dartsworld.com)

Ladies Night. Our Predictions for Female Success Come True!

When A.I.M: were asked to produce some original content, for The World Darts Championship Ultimate Guide, one of the things that prompted us was the surge of interest in the female competitors. You could definitely say we were ahead of the curve here:

FALLON SHERROCK
Pic: Christopher Dean
Lisa Ashton: Helped blaze a trail and is still at it!

For last years (2019) World Championship the PDC innovated once more. A direct route for female players to play in the championships was introduced for the first time. Lisa Ashton and Anastasia were the qualifiers, from very high-quality field, and both played strongly in the main event.  This year the route has been extended to include a UK and a Rest of the World style qualifying event.  

Mikuru Suzuki, 37, will debut at Ally Pally after capturing the Lakeside title in 2019. She is familiar with the PDC set up, and atmosphere, after being selected by the BDO for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts. The Japanese star made things deciding decidedly uncomfortable for Gerwyn Price in her opening match. Despite not qualifying for the knockout stage she will have gained valuable experience, and having little to lose, and could be very dangerous indeed. 

FALLON SHERROCK
Pic: Christopher Dean

Fallon Sherrock has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years. The former World Championship finalist, and twice major title winner, has outmatched by Lisa Ashton and now Suzuki. The twenty-five-year old hairdresser has, however, had a superb 2019, winning several titles all around Europe. Fallon then played superbly in the ladies qualifying event, averaging close to 100. Her debut at Alexandra Palace will introduce her to a whole new audience and may prove another boost to her career! 

The form and ability of the female representatives is getting stronger and stronger. It may not be long until darts becomes a fully integrated sport. 


During a remarkable run Sherrock defeated both Ted Evetts and, the number eleven seed, Mensur Suljovic whilst generating a huge surge of interest from the media worldwide. A couple of weeks later Lisa Ashton made her mark again gaining a PDC Tour Card, in a mixed field of over five hundred players. ‘Ladies Night’ indeed!

https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

Premium Darts for Bargain Price – It can still be done.

A.I.M: Produced this Top 5 for Darts World Magazine a couple of months ago. Many of the deals discovered are still available!

Darts World has noticed that the costs, especially player and premium, of darts have increased substantially over the past few years.  Increased and improved cosmetics, together with some technical innovations, can be blamed for some of this. But, the increased popularity and worldwide expansion of darts seem to be resulting in a golf or tennis like spiralling of some equipment costs. 

Not quite within our bargain criteria, but the Pro-Line is an excellent dart for a mid-range price.

Less than five years ago very few sets of darts would cost more than £50 and the vast majority were between £20 & £35. These often included accessories such as a case and or spare flight & stem setups. Today, a brief look at any of the major sellers reveals thirty or forty different models with an RRP of over £60 with a handful of models on or around the £100 mark. 

Does all this mean that darts is becoming a rich pursuit for those with more disposable cash? Can the average young person still get a decent start and does all this extra cash actually make much difference? 

Darts World asked A.I.M: to look into the best value darts available and to put them through their paces. We set them a maximum of £25 per set and asked them to assess quality, performance, value, and accessibility.  Here is the first summary of what they found; 

1) Pro-Style (21-26g) – Darts Clearance £12.99-14.99http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/dartsclearance?_fsub=7330512015& 

These are a lovely dart for the £15 cost.  The 22g model is 48mm x 7.2mm (widest) and has a slight taper from the front to rear. There is a small blank near the stem and the grip is what could be described as an original Bob Anderson style grip but slightly more aggressive. They have a slight front weight but still, feel well balanced. Almost indistinguishable from the McKicks Alan Glazier darts. 

The darts come with nothing but a point protector in order to keep the costs, and postage fees, at an absolute minimum. They were popular with all our testers and all standards. Even our elite player was very impressed. The ‘Pro-Style’ compared well with other models even those of higher cost. The tungsten content will be at least 80% and may be higher.  

Pro-Style – Excellent value at a bargain cost.

2) Winmau Diamond 23g – Red Dragon Clearance £24.90 (RRP £55)  – http://www.reddragondarts.com/winmau-diamond-3-23-gram-12105.html

These are a serious bargain. Originally £55+ they represent the combination of high-quality tungsten and a diamond fusion grip. Winmau seems to have abandoned this grip style and thus you can now pick up some serious bargains. 

Winmau Diamond Grip – Currently less than half price.

These have a great deal in common with John Lowe or Andy Fordham shape darts. The extra grip near the nose can be handy. They are 90% tungsten and measure 40.6mm x 7.7mm. The diamond grip was very popular and will be missed by some serious players. However, after a while, it can rub the other darts into looking shabby and wears itself down. 

In short, these are a premium dart for a one-off price. I doubt these will last long. Well worth a try or even to get yourself an extra set if you use them already. 

3) Designa Dark Thunder – £22.95 – http://www.dartscorner.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=42991 

A lovely dart, in a classic style, for under £25.

These are a very good value, 90% tungsten dart. They have a lot in common with Unicorn (Taylor) Phase 1. The black barrels with natural highlights are a popular look and have a touch of the Noir range about them. A very grippy dart that is not chunky in the hard or over-complex in design. Various weights are available with 22g and 24g being the most popular. With Darts Corner moving their priorities to Mission darts these may not be around forever as the Designa badge may fade away. 

Monster – The Cobra – £24 (RRP £50+)  – http://www.dartscorner.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=1190_1692&products_id=31539

These are available in the clearance section of dartscorner.com and may not be for very long at this price. This model became Jelle’s signature shape and style for quite a few years and during his most successful PDC spell.  

The Cobra – A £50+ premium dart for a
clearance price.

90 % Tungsten, superbly designed and engineered to be a superb combination of aerodynamics and style. 42mm long x 7mm (at the widest) they are highly individual and you might wish to try before you buy! Although badged as 22g this is misleading the barrel weight is only 20.4g. 

Two of our testers loved these and one has kept them! However, our third player could not get used to them at all. It seems that ‘The Cobra’ is a bit Marmite! 

Alan Tabern – V180 – £20– http://www.a180.co.uk/product.php/10304/v180-alan-tabern-90-tungsten-darts-21g

A classic player dart for only £20. Alan Tabern’s simple barrel.

You don’t get many classic player darts for under £20. However, V180 makes a small range, all of which are pitched at a great price. Perhaps the best of these is the Tabern dart. These could be made by Target, Alan’s old sponsor, they are a classic style ring grip dart. Only Alan’s 21g edition is available. They are a little over 47mm x 6mm wide they feel very well balanced and are 90% tungsten. 

Our players thought that these were a lovely dart. The only downside was that they are not as heavily gripped as some current models. Our more traditional testers were fond of these darts, whereas our younger player, seem to find them over delicate and harder to control. 

It can be seen from the above, that despite the recent increases in the cost of premium products, high-quality darts can be sourced. A little creativity and patience can result in darts of the same very high standard for a lot less of your hard earned.


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