Tag Archives: Steve Beaton

Beaton Eases Past The Power’s Record.

Steve Beaton is preparing for his thirtieth World Championship taking the record from Phil Taylor. Both are currently sat on 29 events each. The remarkable ‘Bronzed Adonis’ made his television debut as far back as 1984 and collected his BDO World Championship title in 1996.

Beaton played ten times at The Lakeside and will soon reach twenty consecutive PDC World Darts Championships when he takes to the Alexandra Palace stage. The PDC Championships has not proven a happy hunting ground for Steve but 2020 saw him match his best ever run, reaching the last 16, at the Ally Pally.

The 56 year old Southam thrower has reached almost every peak in the game and has had the longest top flight career of any professional. He is still ranked in the World’s top 32 and has reached multiple Pro Tour Qtr Finals in 2020. He will play in the this years opening session (Dec 15th) against the talented Brazilian Diogo Portella.

The Bronzed Adonis.

Should Steve manage to lift the crown he would be the oldest player to claim the title as well as, by some distance, the longest gap between debut and title winner. It would also be his first PDC major title. Despite his storied career he is yet to lift a PDC major trophy and has had to be content with a multitude of semi final places.

During his BDO days captured many of the games most famed events. In addition to his world title he claimed the World Masters and the British Open and Pentathlon titles. In addition Steve represented England on many occasions, winning both European and World Cups!


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

We Are The Champions!

While A.I.M: were putting together some information for The Word Darts Championship (2019) Ultimate Guide, we could not help but notice the sheer number of players able to boast of being World Champions:

FORMER 5 TIME WORLD CHAMPION RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD’S FINAL TOURNAMENT
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

World Champions are special. Regardless of sport, code or status, those who claim a World title always stand out from the crowd. Steel tip darts has two sets of World Champions. From 1976-93 there were simply World Champions. Following the formation of the PDC (originally the WDC) from 1994 there were Lakeside (BDO) Champions and PDC World Professional Darts Champions.  

To date, twenty-nine players have lifted either of the overall titles, but only eight have lifted the PDC crown. A glance down the list reveals that these are not normal players! No player has won a senior world title without claiming other titles and reaching the top of the ranking tables. Many have won multiple titles and some have utterly dominated the game for long periods of time.  

Name World Titles 
Raymond Van Barneveld BDO x 4 PDC x 1 
MVG PDC x 3 
Glen Durrant BDO x 3  
Gary Anderson PDC x 2 
Adrian Lewis PDC x2 
Rob Cross PDC x 1 
Stephen Bunting BDO x 1 
Steve Beaton BDO x 1 
Jelle Klaasen BDO x 1 
Mikuru Suzuki BDO (W) x 1 
Paul Lim Soft Tip x 2 
Lourance Ilagan Soft Tip x 1 
Aaron Monk PDC Youth x 1 
Max Hopp  PDC Youth x 1 
Keegan Brown PDC Youth x 1 
Dimitri van den Burgh PDC Youth x 1 
 
At least 16 layers can claim around 28 World Titles before the start of this year’s event

The growth of the sport, and its inclusive nature, mean that there are also World Champions from other darting arenas. The soft tip game, for example, has produced many fine players and its codes/organisations hold their own World Championships. The ladies’ game has held World Championships for nearly forty years and has produced legendary players such as Trina Gulliver, Maureen Flowers and Linda Duffy (ne Batton). The current holder of the title, Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki, will make her debut at Ally Pally this year. 

The 2020 PDC World Championship will feature at least fifteen players who can lay claim to World Championships. Many of them can or will be able to claim multiple titles in multiple formats. To date, only John Part can claim World Champion status in the BDO, PDC and Soft Tip formats.  

Could Paul Lim add another leg of the treble? Or will Glen Durrant become the latest cross code champion? Whoever claims the 2020 crown will have triumphed in a field containing more darting world champions than ever before. 


A version of We are The Champions first appeared, with full graphics, in the guide below:

https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

‘Mile High’ Leaves A Vapour Trail.

In February, 2010, Mark “Mile High” Hylton began what was to be a shortish, but highly significant, test flight in the world of PDC darts. A superb take off was followed by a turbulent spell ‘cruising at altitude’ before a steep decent took him away from our view. 

All the elements seemed in place, for an outstanding career at the top level. Yet something was missing?

Mark Hylton had been around amateur darts for quite some time, including a notable appearance at the the, 2007 UK Open, before he was approached to turn professional. His first few months on tour proved a steep learning curve. It seemed that ‘Mile High’, as he was known due to a previous career on the airlines, would take a while to adjust to the professional game. 

However, Mark was playing superbly behind the scenes while cleaning up in non-professional events all over the country. His management/coaching team funded trips to Australia, and Canada, that summer to see if their hunch was right. Take off was managed by Hylton as he soared to the final of that years PDC Australian Open. The prize money, £3000, ensured he would qualify for the World Championships. 

Success followed success, with Mark then qualifying for the Grand Slam of Darts and gaining more consistent results on the Pro Tour. Despite not progressing from the group stage, the Grand Slam provided stage darts and ensured he, and his team, were confident of success at Ally Pally. 

First major of a professional career. The 2010 Grand Slam saw Hylton make his entrance.
Pic – L Lustig/PDC

Team Hylton prepared meticulously. Mark played in all conditions and, as often as possible, on borrowed stages with friends acting as officials. When it was known who, the legendary Steve Beaton, would be his first-round opponent, similar style and pace players were found and they played the event format time and time again. They also calculated the next two likely opponents. 

The venue was scouted, the weather anticipated, which was extreme, and complications allowed for. Despite all the usual beginner’s nerves, and the skills of his opponent, Mark ran out the winner in the deciding set. 

During the days between matches similar preparations were made for tackling Colin Lloyd. Again, despite all the advantages, and a few tactics, were with Jaws’. Hylton, was less nervous before and had been instructed “you are the best kept secret in world darts”, “now go and show these people why” and he did. Colin threw everything at him and never made a dent. By the end of the game Lloyd was shaking his head in disbelief, as Hylton averaged over 115 for spells and became the event’s leading 180 hitter.  

Sadly, events beyond anticipation and a superb performance from, his opponent, Mark Webster halted Hylton’s run at the last 16 stage.  

The two big wins at the palace, gave lift off to Mark’s career. He was awarded the PDC’s New Player of the Year award, a lucrative dart sponsorship and went on to great success in more major events. Reaching two Qtr finals during 2011, rising to number 32 in the world and frightening the life out of Phil Taylor in Blackpool. 

Mile High In Action – L Lustig/PDC

Although Mark has slipped from view, since those halcyon days, his efforts should not be forgotten. To debut aged 44, with no top flight experience, and to hit the heights he did, was remarkable. Indeed, the vapour-trail Hylton left guided many. You don’t need to be a big name to win big! 

Just ask Rob Cross! 


A version of this article was first published in The Ulitimate Guide to The PDC World Championships 2020. Grab a free copy here: https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

Text – CJ Harris Hulme

Pics: L Lustig & PDC.

501 or More: 2017 A Players Championship Revolution in the PDC?

A brief glance at the results of events from this years Players Championship events reveals a fundamental change in the professional game. Although the games current elite players are still winning events, or at least getting into the later stages, others are finally stepping up and beginning a quiet revolution.

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson, one of four players, so far in 2017,
to claim their maiden PDC title.
Pic: PDC/L Lustig

In the first six months of 2017 MVG and Gary Anderson have only claimed a handful  of PC events between them and there have been 13 different winners from 16 events. Although the PC tour has grown and altered, in format and volume of events, this appears to be a unique season. In addition two players with little or no top flight experience, in either code, have reached the final. This is a huge achievement and not enough credit has been given, yet it is not simply the new blood that threatens a dramatic change.

For the past few years the Players Championship (PC) has been slowly changing. There are many factors contributing to this but they now seem to be combining to provide an exciting opportunity. The tour card system and restriction of PC events to 128 players every time. This provides a very strong structure to every event. Each event is now very similar in length and made up of substantially identical fields for at least 12 months often longer.

The whole PC tour is played in a very small number of venues and with a consistent team of markers, officials and support staff. There are no random events held all over the world with different field size, organisation, set ups, logistics, facilities etc. This enables players to become accustomed to every aspect and more relaxed.

The increased prize money, especially in the early rounds, and reduced playing costs of the Pro Tour in general, even more so for the PC’s, mean that players are under less pressure to win multiple games in order to be able to continue, or encourage others to pay for, their efforts. An extreme example, from 2010, involves flying halfway across the globe to Australia and staying for only 3 nights (Cost approx £2000)  and having to reach the last 32 (only 1 chance due to it being a single event) in order to win £200. In 2017 the worst possible scenario would be travelling to Dublin staying two or  three nights (Cost approx £300) and having two chances to gain a place in the last 32. Should you be successful the prize money will be £1000. Previously fields could be over 258 in which case a minimum of three wins in a row was needed to reach the last 32. Now it is a maximum of two.

Taylor v Wright 2017
Taylor’s previous dominance of the Player’s Championship will not be repeated even by MVG.

During the decade, or so, of its existence there have been in the region of 60 players who have won a PDC event of this standing. This would be less for specific PC events since the Pro Tour could be said to be fully established. Yet a look at the field from the most recent one tells its own story. The 128 included 36 players who have won a PC event. 9 more were finalists and at least another 10 have won events equivalent events or recorded elite achievements. In short one in three players in the draw had won or were demonstrably capable of winning the event! Thus it should come as no surprise that 4 players who had not previously won a PC event have added one this season already.

The demands of the modern PDC Pro Tour is starting to play a role in the PC changes, over ten of the events are now two/three-day events on mainland Europe and this will affect elite players in many ways. Selection of events, injury/illness ( MVG recently) and fatigue are all likely to play a role. In addition to this a wider variety of players can gain valuable experience and money by qualifying for these events and boosting their confidence as well as coffers.

The declining dominance ,and now absence, of Phil Taylor will doubtless continue to play a role. “The Power’s” dominance of the Pro Tour was immense. Often it was he who ensured that in any group of 5 events there were no more than 2 or 3 winners. The effect on other players, who shared his side of the draw or played him in repeated finals, can not be under stated. However some of this is off set by the dominance of MVG, but this is limited by the fact he, unlike Taylor previously, cannot play every event.

Players arriving on the PC tour have had to earn their place on it, via Q School, and know that they cannot get away with hoping for a softer draw. In addition they are more familiar with the nature of the events and can prepare and practise for them. The slight variations in field that take place, due to top players having to miss events, play to the strengths of those who are highly talented and either not battle-scarred or in, what could be called, the second rank. Players such as Rob Cross,Joe Cullen and Kyle Anderson demonstrate this admirably. In addition players, such as Steve Beaton and Darren Webster, with immense skill, experience and patience can also triumph.

Steve Beaton Winmau days image
The Bronzed Adonis.
winning his first Players Championship event for years during 2017.

A glance at the Players Championship order of Merit reveals the revolution that is underway. MVG is only 7th. Cross, Gurney and Cullen are in the top five despite none of them being in the top 16 overall.  The effect of the PC revolution is yet to play out in full, but some of its consequences are becoming clear. The gain in confidence and cash that players can accumulate is already knocking on into major TV events. Daryl Gurney, Darren Webster and Rob Cross had significant roles in the World Matchplay and this rise of the outsider looks likely to continue. The qualifying lists for the remaining majors and the seedings for events such as the Players Championship Finals will be unrecognisable from previous years. Highly ranked players in this years world championship may face players who have won events on the tour, and played in multiple TV majors, in the first round. In many ways this will be good for the game. More new players for the TV audience to get to know and hopefully less predictable TV events.

A major upside will be the number of players who can earn a good living being a darts professional. Not so long ago it was really only the top 10 – 16 that could be sure of a decent annual income. Currently the 32nd ranked player has earned over £110,000 over the last two years, in prize money alone. With increased outside income from sponsors and exhibitions this should easily translate to around £60,000 p.a after expenses. Only two players from the BDO earned in excess of this amount over the last two years. The downside of the upheaval could be the TV folks being less happy. Major stars may not qualify or bow out early on. The next years or two may feature some tinkering with how these rankings are structured. Overall the revolution in earning potential, opportunity exposure and security is a tremendous boost to players and a remarkable achievement from those who operate the PDC. 


Coral UK Open 2016 – Days 1 & 2

The 2016 Coral UK Open is certainly living up to expectations.

The 2016 Coral UK Open is certainly living up to expectations.

The UK Open lived up to it reputation as the FA Cup of Darts again on the first two days of the 2016 edition. Riley’s qualifiers gave it their all and many Pro’s were given a tough time. Even MVG was subdued, and The Power struggled, in the early the early rounds.

The Giant Killing Starts
Robert Thornton, the 2012 champion, became the biggest casualty of Day 1. The world number seven bowing out to Aaron Monk even after starting strongly. Alex Roy, one of only eight ever presents, looked like he may be the story of the day. Roy, who had had to qualify through Riley’s, got off to a great start, defeating fellow veteran Dennis Smith on the main stage and then coming from behind to win his second round game. Sadly Roy could not make day two, running out of steam in his third game vs Justin Pipe.

Clash of the Titans.

With the initial skirmishes over the last 64 draw was made. As always, the draw provided some uncomfortable moments. Ian “Diamond” White was paired with Simon Whitlock, world ranking number 12 vs number 18. Peter Wright was paired with the evergreen Steve Beaton, Wright emerging a 9-5 winner. Even more mouth-watering, for the five thousand fans, was the clash between Gary Anderson & Dave Chisnal. Two Premier League players , ranked two & ten, who normally could not meet until at least  two rounds later in any TV event.

Old foes clash early. Whitlock defeats white in the last 64.

Old foes clash early. Whitlock defeats white in the last 64.

 

White vs Whitlock did not even rate a TV slot and saw the Aussie overcome a two – five deficit to win through. Mensur Sulivic the inform Austrian repeated his previous wins over an out of sorts James Wade. The machine was deeply unhappy with the board, although his complaints fell on deaf ears.

The main event proved to be worth the wait. Chizzy started strongly and got into a lead, both players seemed to have a little too much respect for the others, it was almost like a couple of prize-fighters waiting to let rip. Finally, despite not being in the lead throughout the match, Anderson kicked into life and produced a tremendous ‘last round’ finish to emerge a 9-7 winner.

Beware “The Spider”.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Spider?

Cometh the hour, cometh the Spider?

After a torrid time, Mark Webster has been cooking with gas again for a few months, better floor showings and, great runs in the last few TV events, have seen the confidence return and the old control and consistency is back. His last 64 victory over Matt Edgar was a demonstration of understated skill and control. In this shape “Webby” could be the man to watch.

Rise of the Amateurs

Altogether five “Amateur” qualifiers made it through to Round 3, a pretty good showing. Sadly the enigma that is Les Delderfield did not even appear, thus a possible fairy story petered out. Most notable were Rob Cross who defeated two very in form and experienced players handily, neither Ken McNiel nor Wes Newton would have been expecting to be so ruthlessly dispatched, and Barry Lynn who, after defeating Claydon and, UK Open veteran, Dean Stewart, would take on “The History Maker” Brendon Dolan, for a place in the last thirty-two and a chance of an even bigger draw.

Robert Cross, earned a monster draw, against MVG, with 3 superb wins on day1

Robert Cross, earned a monster draw, against MVG, with 3 superb wins on day1

Cross did a fine job in removing, the in form, Geoffry de Graff, in a last leg thriller, and moved on into the hat with the big boys, only to get the worst draw imaginable in MVG. Lynn put in another tremendous shift, at the end of a very long day and out lasted Dolan 9 -6. Indeed, it was so late, the draw, for Day Two, had already been held. It was left for the TV presenter to tell Barry that he had drawn reigning world champ Gary Anderson! His response? “good I will smash him all over the board” joking or not Lynn seems to have what many qualifiers, and lower ranked pro’s, lack, genuine confidence and belief.

Rileys Qualifier Barry Lynn wins through day one and threatens to smash Gary Anderson, on day 2. Joking or deadly serious?

Rileys Qualifier Barry Lynn wins through day one and threatens to smash Gary Anderson, on day 2. Joking or deadly serious?

Day Two would show us, and Barry, whether this was misplaced or not!

The Adonis – Steve Beaton – A Legend in his Own Time

The Bronzed Adonis in Fine Form

The Bronzed Adonis in Fine Form

Often sport throws up its own version of the famed curse ” may you live in interesting times”. Players of the highest ability seem to be less appreciated due to truly exceptional players, or rivalries, taking the limelight throughout their own careers. In tennis, Andy Murray is unfortunate enough to straddle the careers of Federer, Nadal & Jokovic for example.

Sometimes there is also a case of familiarity breeds contempt. Although, as in this case, it is not usually contempt but merely taking players, and their achievements or contribution, for granted.
Since the early 1980’s one dart player has competed with the greats from at least three glorious eras for professional darts. Initially he was there as a young player competing, and often winning, against the original TV heroes of the game. The Crafty Cockney, Old Stoneface, The Limestone Cowboy, Jockey and the rest.

Move into the 1990’s and he had claimed his own place at the highest table,becoming World Champion and winning other major and TV events. In the 2000’s, not being one to duck the big challenges, or play the big fish in little pond, he joined the PDC. Without the fanfare, promises or advantages, that some receive today, he joined right in the middle of “The Taylor Years” and produced more superb results as well as twice battling back from the usual professional slumps and life knocks that all mere mortals suffer. Steve “The Bronzed Adonis” Beaton will, once again, appear on our screens very soon at The Grand Slam of Darts.

Showing few signs of letting up, this legendary career is now over 30 years long. It seems a good time to appreciate what should be regarded as a phenomenal career.

Early Days.

Although Steve did not become a full-time professional until the early 1990’s this was mainly due to the difficult time for professional darts, caused through poor image and lack of sponsorship & televised tournaments, from the mid 1980’s through to the mid 1990’s. He had however made his TV bow in the Double Diamond Masters, televised by ITV in 1984. He was narrowly defeated, at the Qtr Final stage, by the event winner, Dave Lee, other Qtr finalists included Bob Anderson, Keith Deller and Mike Gregory. The same year Steve made his World Masters Debut reaching the last 32, losing out to multiple world champion John Lowe.

With the opportunities to play professionally increasing Steve made huge progress in the early 1990’s. He began to reach the later stages, of the bigger BDO opens, regularly and was runner-up in the 1991 Gold Cup.

Giant Strides.

1993 was a true bounty year for Steve and set the tone for the career that was to come. A run to the Semi Finals of the BDO World Championships was the marker, over the next few months he won The British Pentathlon, British Matchplay, as well as several large opens, before being part of the England team that landed the WDF World Cup. The year would be highlighted by Steve becoming The World Master and thus claiming his first major TV title.

The next couple of years seemed to be a case of nearly but not quite. After a rousing, defense of his Masters title which he lost in the final to Richie Burnett, Steve captured the European Cup Singles and team titles but was eliminated twice in the first round of the World Championships.

Immortality

Steve joins the immortals.

Steve joins the immortals.

The World Championship hoodoo was put to bed in emphatic style in January 1996. If ever a dart player silenced his critics in style then this was it, Steve had had to put up with much comment about bottle and choking etc. due to his early defeats when favourite for the event. To win the event Steve had to defeat Co Stompe, John Part, Martin Adams, Andy Fordham and then Richie Burnett. I cannot recall another champion having to get past 4 consecutive world champions in order to win their own.

With a number of larger open wins, and another WDF Team World Cup title, 1996 was similar to his efforts of 1993, but this time as reigning World Champion!

Over the next few years Steve regularly reached the later stages of BDO events and the larger opens. During the conflict between the BDO and PDC darting organisation Steve regularly played the TV events organised by the PDC reaching the Semi Final of the 2001 World Matchplay.

Crossing the floor.

With more changes to the eligibility criteria, the move to the PDC full-time started with The World Professional Championships of 2002, in which Steve reached the last 16, less than a month after his appearance in the BDO World Masters. Due to a legal cross over some events remained accessible to players of both codes.

Las Vegas in the 2000's

Las Vegas in the 2000’s

Steve adjusted to the tour style of the PDC quickly and reached the semi finals of a PDC(1)(now classed as the Pro Tour) sanctioned event almost immediately. In addition he hit a 9 Dart Finish in the Irish Masters as well as again reaching the Semi Final of the World Masters. The first couple of years on the PDC tour could be seen as a steady process with qtr and semi final appearances in many floor events. However a Semi Final in the World Grand Prix of 2004 showed that he still had what it took, on stage, at the highest level.

Tough Times & Turn Arounds!

From The World Grand Prix of 2004 through to the start of the 2009 season could be described as the leanest of Steve career to date. The appearances in the later stages of the floor event fell away and early exits from the TV events became routine. His ranking slipped and things looked bleak.

Yet from this low point came a remarkable resurgence that, due to the fact he never quite went away, was barely noticed. Over that season Steve reached multiple Qtr, Semi Finals & Finals on the Pro Tour including becoming the Austrian Open Champion, the last 16 of The World Matchplay & The World Grand Prix and most remarkably, reached his first PDC major final. Losing out to Phil Taylor after removing Adrian Lewis, MVG, Mark Walsh & James Wade. This earned him in a place in The Grand Slam of Darts, for the first time, where he reached the last 16, less than a month later.

It would be fair to say that for the next 12 months Steve would consolidate the return without many stand out results, although good steady performances were ensuring his ranking was solid and he would be around for a while yet. The Autumn of 2010 would provide us with yet more proof that “The Adonis” could still rumble with the best and would be doing so for years to come.

After making his Grand Slam debut the year before, Steve was entitled to a second appearance, due to his major final at the Europeans of 2009. A very good run in The Champions League of Darts put those of us who are fans on guard for what was to come. Steve made it through a tough group stage with a superb, do or die, 5-1 win over Paul Nicholson. In the round of 16 he counted out double world champ Ted Hankey in a comfortable 10-6 win and would play The Power in his first big 5 Qtr final for a long time. If you love sport , natural ability and characters Steve performance will stick with you for a long time. Twice Steve won 5 legs in a row against the greatest to ever play. Both times he was in danger of being routed, and yet despite being 13-9 and 14-11 down he produced the 2nd run of 5 legs to win the match and reach the Semi Final.

Steve Beaton 2014 15

Sadly the tournament ended there for Steve with a 16-9 defeat to Scott Waites. It should be noted though that the scheduling of the semi was grossly unfair. Beaton, despite playing last the previous evening in a titanic struggle, was scheduled to play his semi final first the following day. “The Power” would not have had to contend with such nonsense!

Doing it in Style.

Throughout this superb career you hear darts players, and  fans, mentioning the same things over and over again, style, charisma, natural, relaxed, gentlemanly. Every now and then on social media, or internet forums, there will be a discussion of who has the best throw or is simply the best to watch live. Despite not being in the top ten or as well known as Eric, John Lowe, Phil or Hankey, MVG or Gary Anderson, The Adonis regularly comes out at, or near, the very top. This is simply because his throw really is a thing of simplicity and wonder.

Steve has always seemed to understand that the other elements of the game, such as TV, Walk On, interviews , exhibitions, promotions and sponsors, are necessary  and seems to naturally carry such obligation of with ease. After all anyone who can get away with the “Bronzed Adonis” tag, and walking on to Staying Alive with his shirt open in a seventies style, into his fifties must have something? His laid back approach and regular visits to Tennerife, to top up the bronze, belie the fact that he is a fierce competitor who excels in most things, as anyone who has played golf with him will agree.

Along the way Steve has served his fellow professionals on the PDPA board and designed darts and related items for manufacturers and himself alike. His exhibitions are renowned for phenomenal darts, with a genuine enjoyment of meeting and talking to players and fans alike, often until the small hours! He never seems in a hurry to get away and folk respond warmly.

Not many have had a career that entitles them to a section on their website entitled memory lane! Have a look here: http://stevebeaton.co.uk/gallery-2/video/

More to come!

Another trophy for the collection.

Another trophy for the collection.

In case this seems lie a fairwell piece, or lament for forgotten times, it should be noted that Steve appears far from finished yet! Following that superb 2010 season came another couple of solid years where Steve steadily rose in the rankings. A barron spell or two along the way came as a result of life issues such as we all face, yet in 2013 Steve claimed the German darts Championship on the (Euro) PDC ‘s European Tour. Thus adding another level of PDC event to his winning list. Since this point he has again been remarkably solid on the Pro Tour and in PDC TV majors. Only last weekend he reached the last 16 of the European Championships and has already qualified for the Players Championship Finals and The World Championships in January 2016.

Before that however comes a return to Wolverhampton and, after qualifying through the old-fashioned wildcard system, this could again mark a significant moment in Steve’s career. This year, for the first time, The Grand Slam is a seeded event and together with the other majors at this time of the year could see Steve, 32 years on from his TV debut and now aged 51, rising again to within sight of the top echelons of the darting world.

Surely then “The Adonis” will have joined the Oche Gods?