Tag Archives: The Ultimate Guide

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/

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!

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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:

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Meet the Fans – Ally Pally.

One of our favorite A.I.M: contributions to The World Darts Championships Ultimate Guide ( 2019) was a centred around the unique nature of the supporters at the Alexandra Palace. We are hoping to do more of these from other seminal darting venues:

QUEEN OF THE PALACE: FALLON SHERROCK IS ACCLAIMED BY THE CROWD
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

The secret ingredient, in the successful recipe that is the PDC World Darts Championship, is not so secret. It’s on full public view every day and every session. Over 85,000 fans troop through the doors of the Alexandra Palace every December. Hen nights, stag nights, work place parties, and many other groups, join more traditional darts fans to experience the unique combination of party atmosphere and sporting drama. 

Kyle Picknell recently described a night at the darts like this:  

You remember the World Cup, don’t you? That summer-long hysteria that swept the nation away in a hot, sticky sea of pints, sweat, tears and pints. Well, the darts is a bit like that. Except with more pints” 

If you have every attended an Ally Pally session, or even caught one on TV, you will struggle to argue with that description. The mix of thousands of everyday people, sporting combat, Christmas spirit and alcohol adds an element to the event that seems very British. The fancy dress tradition, which grows every year, follows a trend from the Edgbaston test match and, has a superb comic edge. An audience member attended dressed as Jesus, on his return journey from the bar, he was captured on the big screen, within seconds the entire crowd were serenading him with Happy Birthday! 

As the event moves into its later stages there are less of the party groups and more of those who follow or play darts. This leads to a more partisan, intense atmosphere with crowd favorites cheered to the rafters and some getting a less fond reception. Over the years Mervyn King and Gerwyn Price have been on the receiving end of the crowd’s displeasure, and yet have come out the other side more fondly regarded. This year may see Gerwyn being a crowd favorite.  

Since the event moved to its current home in 2008, the crowd experience and participation level has been enhanced and now resembles a darting day-trip. There is a dedicated fan area, just outside the main arena, with activities and opportunities to enjoy the day. Legends of the game appear for Q&As / photo’s, the trophy is on display and sponsors do their upmost to promote themselves and their wares.  

Peter Wright wins the 2020 event in front of a delighted Ally Pally crowd. PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Fans of a night at the darts have changed over the years. National treasures such as Stephen Fry, sporting royalty including Freddie Fintoff and Stephen Gerrard and even actual Royalty, in the person of Prince Harry, have been spotted enjoying their arrows.  

Could it be that darts has a truly universal appeal, that is captured perfectly for two weeks every year by the PDC, Sky TV and Alexandra Palace?  


A.I.M: Go International! ‘Barney Takes A Bow’ Re-Published by Darts1.de

Nice to see one of the pieces we produced for ‘The Ultimate Guide to the World Championship’ proved popular outside the UK. http://www.darts1.de/news/2019/hut-ab-raymond-van-barneveld.php?fbclid=IwAR0jZhV2HphCT-TwImLy-q3Kx_PpG39wjzYG0U3cszuZwNGb2z_ynl5Kkx0

Hut ab, Barney!

Raymond van Barneveld kann eine der Hauptrollen in der Geschichte der PDC-WM für sich beanspruchen. Sein Finalsieg im „Spiel der Spiele“ bei der WM 2007, seine fantastischen 9-Darter – Barney hat dem Dartsport einige legendäre Momente beschert. Darüber hinaus verleiht seine Fan-Base, die „Barney Army“, jeder Veranstaltung eine besondere Atmosphäre. Raymonds Anteil am Aufbau und der Weiterentwicklung des Dartsports ist unbestritten und sein Ruf als Darts-Legende schon zu aktiven Zeiten gefestigt.

Foto © Lawrence Lustig / PDC @ Darts1.de

Er ist einer von nur drei Darts-Profis, die mindestens fünfmal eine Weltmeisterschaft gewinnen konnten. Eric Bristow (5) und Phil Taylor (16) heißen die beiden anderen Mitglieder in diesem erlauchten Club. Der mittlerweile 52-jährige Barney steht vor seiner letzten WM-Teilnahme und kann sich während des Turniers einer riesigen Aufmerksamkeit sicher sein und sich auf eine angemessene Verabschiedung freuen, wenn das Turnier für ihn zu Ende geht. Er scheint mit sich und seiner Entscheidung, die Karriere zu beenden, völlig im Reinen zu sein und will seine Abschiedsvorstellung in vollen Zügen genießen. Seit seinem Debüt in Lakeside im Jahr 1991 hat Raymond an fast 30 Weltmeisterschaften teilgenommen. Am Anfang seiner bemerkenswerten Karriere bekam er noch die erste goldene Ära des Profi-Darts mit, anschießend lieferte er sich über ein Jahrzehnt lang mit „The Power“ einen heißen Kampf, bevor er schließlich eine neue Generation auf ihrem Weg in die Weltspitze anführte, um die Qualität des Spiels auf ein höheres Level zu bringen.

2006 entschied sich RvB zu einem Verbandswechsel und nahm fortan an den Turnieren der PDC teil. Der viermalige Lakeside-Champion war der größte Hai im mittelgroßen Becken der BDO und er hätte ganz einfach dort bleiben und sich Titel und Preisgelder einheimsen können. Doch er entschied sich für das Risiko und einen Wechsel zur PDC, um auf höchstem Level spielen und gegen die Allerbesten antreten zu können, die das Spiel zu bieten hat.

Van Barneveld erstes großes Ranglistenturnier bei der PDC waren die UK Open 2006, die er auch gleich gewinnen konnte. Nach diesem Traumstart bereitete er sich auf seine erste PDC-Weltmeisterschaft vor, die Ende des Jahres 2006 begann. Auf seinem Weg ins Finale wird sich van Barneveld vor Augen geführt haben, was ihn knapp ein Jahr zuvor zu einem Wechsel zur PDC getrieben hat. Er war gekommen, um gegen Phil „The Power“ Taylor im Modus „Best of 13 sets“ zu spielen. Der Rest ging in die Geschichte ein: Das äußerst knappe Finale, bei dem mal der eine und mal der andere vorne lag, der Wurf aufs Bullseye vor dem „Sudden Death“-Leg und kurz darauf der Championship-Dart ins richtige Doppelfeld, sein Sinken auf die Knie, die Superlative der Kommentatoren – all dies trug dazu bei, dass das WM-Finale 2007 bis heute als legendär gilt.

Foto © Lawrence Lustig / PDC @ Darts1.de

Obwohl es Raymond danach nicht mehr gelang, den WM-Pokal zu holen, kann er auf eine sehr erfolgreiche Karriere in beiden Verbänden zurückblicken. Er holte drei „World Cup Singles“- und zwei „Winmau World Masters“-Titel bei der BDO, sowie einen Premier League- und einen Grand Slam of Darts-Titel bei der PDC. Zudem gelang ihm der erste 9-Darter bei einer PDC-Weltmeisterschaft.

Frühestens nach seinem Auftaktspiel gegen Darin Young und spätestens nach einem eher unwahrscheinlichen Auftritt im Endspiel am 1. Januar 2020 werden sich die Fans im „Ally Pally“ und die Darts-Fans an den Bildschirmen auf der ganzen Welt von einer modernen Legende verabschieden müssen. In seiner aktuellen Form ist es Barney durchaus zuzutrauen, dass er den Zuschauern ein großartiges Abschiedsspektakel bietet. Nimmt man nur die letzten drei Monate, so wäre er Zehnter der Weltrangliste mit einem 3-Dart-Average von 96,63 Punkten bei 17 gespielten Veranstaltungen.

Hut ab, Raymond van Barneveld, und alles Gute für die Zukunft!

Text: © Callum Harris-Hulme @ Darts1.de
Übersetzung: Martin Rönnberg

Pics: L Lustig (PDC)


A.I.M: Contribute to New World Championship Guide

It’s always nice to be asked to contribute to a new publishing project to promote the game of darts. Some of the people we at A.I.M: like best have produced 62 pages of news, views, player profiles, product reviews and articles that is yours in a couple clicks:

Dartconnect.com are distributing the guide, as well as RedDragon darts, Grab a copy here: 

Download Your Copy – https://appsolutely.dev/darts/

All 96 players that took part are individually profiled and there are sections for Fallon Sherrock & Mikuru Suzuki as well as feature articles on Barney, Gerwyn Price and those who have hit an Ally Pally 9 Darter.

Mile High Leaves a Vapour Trail tells the tale of how a relative unknown made a big impact, at the 2010/11 World Championship, blazing a trail for others to follow.

The Super 8’s looks at vital stats and other information that can sort out those with a chance of the title from those likely to fall short.

There is even a betting section. You Betcha! Gives a few ideas of what is available these days in the gambing sector.

All in all it is a great guide and unbeatable for free!

Mile High Leaves a Vapour Trail an interesting article in The Ultimate Guide
Lustig. PDC