Tag Archives: MVG

Winmau Launch 2020/21

Being last, of the major brands, to launch their new range is a tradition at Winmau. Their retail pedigree means that they synchronise the launch in order to provide their retail channels with maximum new products for the Christmas and January peaks.

This year sees the Welsh firm lead from the front with a selection of products from their lead player Michael Van Gerwen before moving on to their other marquee names:

Vantage:

This premium model is clearly inspired by MVGs general barrel design but given the premium touches they ensure a great first impression. They have also eliminated some of the less popular features of Michael’s standard dart.

Vantage feature sections of a ‘VA’ shaped grip and gold plated highlights. The black and green styling of the Adrenalin model is adopted again for this striking variation on the MVG theme.

Assault:

This looks a more traditional dart but with MVG grip locations and branding. The onyx coating is gain present but paired with non coated bands and deep cut grooves to give an impression of a very aggressive grip.

The MVG green, black and silver styling with plenty of branding points ensures that, although a different style of dart, Assault willlook part of the family.

New weights have been added to Adrenalin, Ambition and Absolute models. All in all the MVG range goes from strength to strength.

Joe Cullen:

Joe has got to off to a nice start with Winmau and they look like a good match. His recent form is nicely timed for his signature dart launch and these are a definite forward development.

The front and rear sections are similar to his usual model but the gentle scallop in the mid section adds an element of element of exactitude not previously obvious. The Red and black colour scheme coordinates with much of Joe’s branding. Overall it’s a more subtle and less aggressive model. A sign of maturing confidence?

Mark Webster (Diamond):

These look a nice development of Webby’s second signature dart. Two new sections of Winmau’s unique diamond fusion grip have been added. This may increase the range of players willing to give this classic shaped dart a try. It’s striking looking and could suit any type of throw.

Merv King:

Even the most optimistic at Winmau would not have expected these to be launched at quite such a peak of interest in The King! Merv’s superb run to the final of the Players Championship Finals has given his profile a huge boost.

It is not shock that the shape of this new edition is the classic Bamboo pattern that has proved so successful for its most famed user. However the added grip within the curved sections looks a technical masterstroke. Taking an old tech dart and making it look both new and modern is a fine effort.

Ted Hankey:

A couple of years back Ted finally added some real grip to his signature shaped dart. The black and red styling also helped introduce the dart to a wider audience. The latest edition celebrates 20 years since The Cou ta inaugural World Championship and the gold section seems appropriate. With a fine ring grip and black onyx coated front area a very striking edition is compete.

There are new and revamped models for Scott Mitchell, Jeff Smith, Willie O Conner and Steve Brown as well as another adaptation of the evergreen Steve Beaton design.

Non Player Ranges:

The excellent Sicario range has been expanded and it is good to see the cluster grip given more opportunity. Fury, Electra and Zinati have been added to the catalogue and bring a dash of simplicity, colour and style respectively.

A select group of accessories brought the launch to a close. A funky pocket flight store and additions to the Pro Line range of premium accessories in the form of a board surround and cabinet.

This is a very strong launch for Winmau. 2020 may have been a terrible year for many but the signing of MVG and then the return to form of King have bookended an excellent performance. They have moved from a legacy brand, who looked jaded and old, to the sharpest and most focused of the leading darts brands.

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Checkout Winmau.com for the full range.

Snapshot: MVG Adrenalin (Winmau).

A distinctive set from the current MVG Design range by Winmau. For the first time, there is an extensive range of Van Gerwen darts, and other products, that are intended to suit a broad cross-section of the darting public. Can they improve on Michael’s ‘Authentic’ or previous signature models?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is s-l1600.jpg

Dimensions: 22g, 54.6mm x 6.1mm barrels.
Grip Style: Multi-directional ring cut grip.
Variation: Soft Tip Edition.
Price: RRP £69.90

General:

Adrenalin may be the best dart in the 2020 MVG Design range. They launched shortly after Michael signed with Winmau. It seems to us that Adrenalin seeks to retain the key features of the Van Gerwen dart while increasing their visual appeal and removing some of the less popular aspects.

Open The Box:

Image 5
Tempted by Adrenalin? Grab a set here.
  • 3 Black Onyx Coated 90% Tungsten Barrels
    3 x Prism Force Stems
    3 x Prism Flights
  • Full retail packaging.

Tester’s Views:

These are a superb looking dart. The black onyx and MVG green highlighted cosmetics ensure a sleek premium appearance.”

The grip is brilliant. I use the the middle blank and the front grip section to get the best control without either slipping or sticking.

These are a superbly balanced dart, I did not even notice that they are longer than my normal darts.

Soft Tip Edition:

As you may note from the pictures of these darts, Adrenalin are almost indistinguishable in Soft/Steel tip. They are excellent as a soft tip choice, they land well in the board and, due to the balance, do not seem to wobble or droop as much as some. But, with high quality conversion points (not supplied) they become a tremendous steel tip model.

The collared style of conversion point (Target for example) ensured a seamless transition from barrel to point. This ensures a predictable flight and minimal deflection/distraction.

Debbie Downers:

One tester was not as happy with the rear section of Adrenalin claiming the transition to the stem was too pronounced. There is a limited weight range in the soft tip version of Adrenalin which may limit its popularity. Finally, it should be remembered that more wristy players may find 54mm long darts more awkward.

Value:

Unusually for an elite player, MVG’s signature model is not the premium dart in the range. Winmau has produced a very good value version of Michael’s standard dart (‘Authentic’) for around £40. However, for those who feel that the standard darts is not for them, Adrenalin could be the solution. With the extra features and coatings etc these are the ultimate MVG Design set. While £69.99 is toward the top end of mainstream pricing Adrenaline still costs less than many sets endorsed by Phil Taylor or Raymond van Barneveld and others.

Image 3
Adrenalin (Steel Tip)

Snapshot:

AIM: testers were very impressed by Adrenaline. Excellent grip feel and balance are complemented by superb styling and seemed to suit a variety of players. More direct throwers will find these easy to use and may see an improvement in their game. The grip zones are well placed and all testers found them easy to get used to. Both soft and steel tip editions perform at a high level in their arena. The steel tip edition comes in 22,23 and 24g weights which should suit the majority of players.

Marks: 9/10


Featured Pic: L Lustig

A full range of MVG Design products can be viewed and purchased here

BullShift – A Drill To Aid Your LDBs!

There are several situations during a leg where a dart at the bullseye can be very useful indeed. Whether its ensuring your end up on a two darter, instead of a three, or to ensure you have a finish at all, its basically a cover shot with two possible outcomes, this is BullShifting.

Match Example:

If you are on 201 and your opponent is not on a score where adding pressure might be relevant and you hit t20 s20, with darts one and two, this leaves you with 121 remaining and a single dart. A dart in either the 25 or Bullseye ,(a BullShift) will leave you with a handy two darter (either 96 or 71) whereas a single twenty or a stray (caused by a deflection, obviously!) will likely leave you with a tricky three darter including more complex treble possibilities.

MVG is a fluent and regular BullShifter!

In addition there are many other situation where two at the twenties and one at the bull/outer will be required. These may include shots at 170, 130 to finish or 90, 105, 130, 145 or even 170 to set up a finish.

So its important to be be a bit of a BullShifter with your last dart!

Game Overview:

Although I like most drills to be based around five turns this one has to involve at least 6. For each turn you will take two darts at the twenties and one dart at the Bullseye ring.

There are six possible outcomes if you hit the twenty bed twice & BullShift170, 145, 130, 105, 90 and 65.

Each time you hit a score it is removed from scoring. As an incentive, and to give every throw mean, the Bullseye counts as 50, if hit with the last dart (LDB), even if you have repeated a score or not hit two in the twenty bed.

Perfect Example:

  • Turn 1: T20 T20 Bull – 170
  • Turn 2: T20 T20 25 – 145
  • Turn 3: T20 s20 Bull – 130
  • Turn 4: T20 s20 25 – 105
  • Turn: s20 s20 Bull – 90
  • Turn 6: s20 s20 25 – 65
  • Total – 705!

Realistic Run Through:

  • Turn 1: s5 T20 25 – 0
  • Turn 2: s20 s20 25 – 65
  • Turn 3: t20 s20 25 – 105
  • Turn 4: s20 t5 Bull – 50
  • Turn 5: s20 t20 Bull – 50 (repeat score)
  • Turn 6: s20 s20 Bull – 90
  • Total: 360

Variations:

You can vary this drill a number of ways. But beware of driving yourself into a fit of frustration.

I suspect Bully Boy would be superb at BullShifting!
PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG

A harsh variation is to list the possible numbers on the marking board, 65-170 inc and then give yourself a set number of throws to knock them all out. 

Example: use 10 turns and mark how many 65’s, 90’s etc that you clock. But also mark how many times you miss the twenty bed with either of your first two and how many last dart bulls (LDBs) you manage!

Levels:

As you can see from the variations you can set your own level and then simply try to better your best. Total score after 6 turns, number of finishes hit after 10 turns etc. But here is a guide:

  • Amateur: 1 lower BullShift (65 or 90) and an LDB. 115 to 140
  • Pub Team: 1 or 2 BullShifts and an LDB. 115 to 220
  • Higher: 2 or more BullShifts and an LDB. 250 or more
  • Elite: 3 or more Bullshifts and a LDB. 400+ (often!)

Records:

Who is the biggest BullShifter?

Top Score665 (145,130,65,170,0,50,105)

Fewest Turns: All six BullShifts were taken out in only 11 turns by a player who has flirted with the PDC top 32 but flew a little too close to the sun.


Originally published for the dartsworld.com Darting Isolation Series during the Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020.

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’. This set us thinking what other tremendous winning streaks have been witnessed in darts?

The Green Machine.
Another outstanding run!
Pic:PDC

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 the DW team 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.

I am sure must be many axamples of such runs being put together, but that fail to get noticed. A Midlands / Staffs league player reported to me that one player had gone almost two complete season 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 in Darts World Magazine during 2019 .http://dartsworld.com

Welcome to Ally Pally -“Talking Points”.

As part of A.I.M:‘s contribution to The Ultimate Guide to the World Championships (2019), we introduced the PDC’s annual darting extravaganza via a ‘Talking Points Style’ segment:

“Talking Points” – At the Palace. 

The Venue –  

Ally Pally holds 3000 fans that regularly sell out the venue. PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

When looking for a new, and larger, venue after the huge success of the 2007 World Championships, the PDC could hardly have found a better option than “the peoples palace”.

Despite being used as a circus venue, exhibition hall and even a refugee shelter, over its 140+ year history, Alexandra Palace has a long association with darts. The hugely popular News of the World event held its finals at the London venue with the raucous, but entertaining, atmosphere from the 1960’s being preserved in YouTube clips. The Ally Pally has provided fairytales, excitement and no little drama, right from its first year as host. Rank outsider Kirk Shepherd made the final that first year only to be felled at the final hurdle by Darth Maple (John Part). Every year since, thousands of fans, often in highly original fancy dress, have flocked to witness the next chapter of this fabulous story. 

The Trophy –  

2019 WORLD CHAMPION MICHAEL VAN GERWEN BUFFS UP THE SID WADDELL TROPHY
(PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

Sid Waddell was known as “The Voice of Darts” and credited by many with helping to popularize the game in the 1970’s, and keep it alive during the leaner times. 

Sid combined a unique use of language with an enthusiasm, and love for the game. that can barely have been matched. Quotes such as “When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears because there were no more worlds to conquer… Bristow’s only 27 “ have become legendary and Sid is remembered with affection by millions.

Sid’s death in 2012 marked a generational and style change in darts. The decision to commission a new PDC World Championship Trophy, named after Sid, was warmly welcomed by those connected to both the game and broadcasting alike. Fittingly it was Phil “The Power” Taylor who emerged triumphant in 2013 and claimed the Sid Waddell Trophy upon its debut. 

The Prize –  

The Menace (1st PDC World Champion)

Winning the PDC World Darts Championship is now a life changing matter. The first holding of the event, in 1994, earned its first champion, Dennis “The Menace” Priestly, the princely sum of £16,000.

Although this was not to be sniffed at it can hardly be compared to today’s prize. The total prize fund for that first championship was £64,000, this year’s event will offer £2,500,000. The winner’s cheque will be a cool half a million pounds (£500,000).  In many ways this is just the beginning of the rewards for the 2020 champion. Sponsorship and exhibition fees are boosted massively, by having a World Championship on your CV, and qualification for every event, for the next two years, is assured. Most players will value the place in the history books and the holding of the Sid Waddell trophy as equally important, but their families may well benefit more from the financial rewards available. 

Leighton Rees
1st World Champion.

To say the PDC World Championship is worth a million pounds, to the winner, is no exaggeration. Leighton Rees’s £3000 reward, for the first ever darts World Championship, suddenly seems a long time ago. However, money is not everything and the fact that, Welshman, Rees is fondly remembered as, both a fine player and, a lovely individual, should remind us that the place in the history book of darts, and on the list of World Champions , is priceless.


A version of this feature first appeared in The Ultimate Guide to the World Darts Championship in December 2019.

View or download (Free) here: https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

Euro Tour 2020 – Dates & Details.

The qualification structure for the PDC European Tour has been confirmed for 2020 ahead of the widest-reaching season of events since the series was introduced.

A total of 13 European Tour events are set to take place during 2020, including visits to Belgium and Hungary for the first time alongside tournaments in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and Gibraltar.

As in recent years, each event will feature 48 players and sees the top 16 players from the ProTour Order of Merit seeded through to the second round.

PDC Tour Card Holders will now compete in one combined qualifier for a total of 24 places in the tournament, having previously been split into UK and European Qualifiers.

The top two ranked players from each Host Nation will also qualify by right, where applicable, as two of four players representing each Host Nation.

Further qualifiers will come from the PDC Nordic & Baltic and East Europe regions (one place per tournament), with two places reserved for an Associate Member Qualifier, which will be open to players who competed at the 2020 PDC Qualifying School but did not win a Tour Card.

“The European Tour is a hugely popular and important part of the PDC circuit now and the expansion into two new territories next year is accompanied by this exciting update to the qualification structure,” said PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter.

“We have reviewed the European Tour with partners including PDC Europe and the PDPA and believe that this new qualifying structure provides a great balance for fans attending across Europe as well as players competing in the events.”

Tickets for the 2020 PDC European Tour are available through PDC Europe via https://www.pdc-europe.de/tickets/

The full qualification structure is as follows:

16 Seeded Players – top 16 entered players from ProTour Order of Merit at time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at second round stage, and need to win their second round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit.

Up to two ranked players from the Host Nation, outside of the top 16 seeds, from the ProTour Order of Merit at the time of entry deadline. Will enter each event at first round stage, and need to win their first round match in order for prize money to count to the relevant Orders of Merit. Should there be less than two ranked players from the Host Nation, additional places would be on offer at the Host Nation Qualifier.

24 Tour Card Holder Qualifiers – from one knockout qualifier featuring all Tour Card Holders

One PDC Nordic & Baltic Qualifier

One East Europe Qualifier

Two Host Nation Qualifiers – from events for Associate and Day Members from the Host Nation. Day Members can participate in up to two Host Nation Qualifiers per year.

Two Associate Member Qualifiers – from events open to any Associate Member who competed at the 2020 Qualifying Schools.

ENDS

The Iceman Joins The Weekenders Club! Price Claims Back to Back Pro Tours.

Winning a PDC Pro Tour event is seriously tough. Players who win back to back Pro Tours over the same weekend are, almost without exception, or soon will be dominant champions of the game. This weekend Gerwen Price added his name to a very elite club.

Latest member of ‘The Weekenders’ club. Price claimed two title from two events.
Pic: PDC

The “Weekenders Club” now has a dozen members and requires its members to win back to back events during the same Pro Tour weekend (or equivalent).

Adrian Lewis (1) founded the club in 2005. At 20 years of age, he won back to back Scottish Pro Tours over one weekend. Phil Taylor (2) unusually not the first, joined soon after claiming both titles in a Dutch doubleheader. Typically of “The Power”, he went on to repeat the feat at least once in each of the next eight years. In 2008 Taylor did the double 3 times and in 2009 he went better with four back to back weekends. Finally, in 2009, a third member joined! Robert Thornton (3) claimed a couple of Scottish Pro Tours over the same weekend. Just to prove it was not a fluke Thornton repeated the trick but it took him till 2014!

In 2010 Wez Newton (5) claimed a unique treble. In addition to back to back Pro Tours in Barnsley, Newton had also claimed his place in the Grand Slam of Darts by winning through the 250+ field on Friday night. This three-hander is unlikely to be repeated. Mervyn King (4) had joined the club earlier in the year by claiming two PLayer Champs. King often starts the Pro Tour well but this may have been his best effort. 2011 featured Gary Anderson (6) claiming his right to join the “Weekenders Club”. His dominant spell over Pro Tour events during this time meant the only surprise was it had taken so long.

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“The Power” Completed “The Weekender” 8 years in a row including four times in 2009

Two new members joined in 2012 with Dave Chisnall (7) & Barney (8) getting in on the act. It is surprising that it had taken RVB more than five years to claim two in a row over a weekend. He had had seriously good spells before. Chizzy was simply expanding on a superb first year on the PDC Tour.

2013 featured an anomaly, Jamie Caven (9) claimed players champs 3 & 4. “Jabba” has a huge talent but had not previously threatened elite clubs such as this. He is the only member not to have featured in at least one major final and or be ranked in the top ten. It is, therefore, a remarkable effort. This year also marked MVG (10) crashing through the door. It seems no coincidence that this was also the first year since 2005 that Phil Taylor did not record the weekend double. In 2014 Robert Thornton showed his return was complete by repeating his 2009 effort.

MVG Gurn Away
The Green Machine. MVG alone
has completed a 3- event
Pro Tour “Weekender”.

Three events weekends were now part of the regular calendar and, after missing out the previous year, MVG quickly claimed UK Qualifiers 2 & 3 over a three-event weekend. Lewis also claimed two from three in a throwback to his 2005 efforts. Two from three is not the same however as two back to back and should not gain membership to the club! Typically, MVG soon claimed a record of his own. He cleared up on a three-event stint in 2016. Three Pro Tours in three back to back days (although they were midweek) puts MVG  in a class of his own. 

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Snakebite claimed 2 out of 3 on a Pro Tour weekend but no back to back. “Weekender Club” Access denied! Pic: L Lustig / PDC

No new member joined in 2017, in fact, no one claimed back to back Pro Tours at all. Peter Wright claimed two from three, over one weekend, early in the season getting close. 2018 proved more welcoming MVG repeated the effort twice,  Gary Anderson reminded everyone he could still do it and the superb Krysztof Rajatski (11) claimed back to back titles without even possessing a Tour Card. The BDO World Master had slipped up at Q School and was reliant on other performances and missing tour card holders to even get in the draw. Thus, as a non-seed, he could claim an unprecedented triumph.

Gerwyn Price (12) now completes the twelve players who have pulled off this difficulty feat. With the ever increasing depth of ability, within the PDC, the club is likely to remain exclusive!

Who will join next and complete the Bakers Dozen?


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