Your darting life so far??
(01-02-2015, 05:42 PM)Kameleon Wrote: I first threw darts perhaps 25 years ago at the tender age of 5, now back then I spent most weekends with my Grandparents, my Grandad (and subsequently my Dad and Uncle) both also played in teams out of the Eastbourne Working mens clubs but it was the combination of Bullseye on the TV when staying at my Gran-parents house (you know old people and their routines!) and finding my Grandads old darts in the kitchen drawer that started it all; I recall he had stopped playing in a team but liked the mathematics side of the game to keep himself sharp so after finding me in the garden throwing his darts and plant pots in the greenhouse, I was promptly brought a black and yellow (perhaps unicorn branded?) wooden dart board, reversible with an archery style layout on the reverse and a red bull that fell out a lot! That was mounted outside, on the shed and I played on it every weekend in all but the wettest of weather, even after the board warped due to water and front!
Shortly after I remember having a proper bristle board brought back from a club by my dad and throwing at it whilst it was resting on the floor / wall but that's very vague in my mind.

Maybe a couple of years later, I used to go along to the Workingmens club or the Squash club in Eastbourne with my parents and his friends and often got to throw on the boards there; first time I had thrown on a proper height board, although I was about 5 feet back from it! Then I was told I could practice with the mens team if I learned to chalk.. in hindsight, they probably just wanted a chalker all night but I loved it. I got juice and crisps all night and my Grandad was often there to help me with the maths if required. After gaining the right to play, I wasn't too bad, I recall winning the odd game here and there but nothing specific. Come the age of 8 however, divorce struck and I was up in Surrey living with my Mum and didn't see another dartboard for maybe 5 years and even then it was just the odd few darts at a mates house.

By the age of 20, I had my own apartment with the misses and one lonely Xmas, I recall watching darts on the BBC, a Martin Adams game in fact and thinking I really fancy a throw. Off I went to Argos, cabinet bought along with a 30 or 32g set of darts - I had no idea what an average weight was at the time and just started throwing casually, remembering all the things I was taught.

at 24 it was move house time again; I decided that this would be the catalyst to join a team, I thought I was pretty good but didn't actually know. Moving to a place in Sutton with 3 darts pubs to choose from I just picked the nicest looking one and went in, armed with my new Phil Taylor Purist Phase 2's - after-all, if Phil threw them, I was bound to be as good with them right!!?

From there, I went on to become the player to beat in that Monday night league (best of 1, 501) - moved to playing on a Tuesday too in the Summer Superleague (4 games of Best of 5 a night) and finished in the top 10, perhaps even the top 5.

Summer became winter, Winter superleague was a tougher affair, requiring more dedication and a better nerve. Away games were a long night for one game of best of 5, especially if you lost! Home games I would often finish work, attend the gym, drive to the club, eat dinner in the car then be on the practice board alone for about 7. A fair amount of vodka later, game won (usually) I would be wrapped up in my sleeping bag, in my car (2 seater!) sleeping off the drink before waking at around 3-4am, often frozen..... ahh the things we do for the game we love huh! However I was running in the top 5 chasing a county selection spot before splitting up, moving out etc. got in the way of practice and ability to attend. At 26 I stopped playing completely for a while, got myself sorted then I was back playing on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, again in the top teirs and also playing local comps, reaching 1/4s and upwards winning a few quid most times - expect those when (to paraphrase the great Bristow) "I lost to Wallies".

So now at 30, I've represented my county, won more than I've lost. Won a few comps and thus a few quid and also along the way played Terry Jenkins and more recently Stephen Bunting both at local exhibitions; winning them both (Jenkins 3-2 and Bunting was an 801 best of 1).

What's next? Well I plan to attend some BDO competitions, see if I can mix it with the slightly bigger boys and also to get back into my regular practice routine on a daily basis (well 5 days of 7 at least). I've also recently signed up to the WEbcam darts organisation under the name Tshirt to hopefully bring a competitive element to my practice; there's no better way to practice playing someone at 501 than playing someone at 501 after all!

If you've got this far, thanks for reading! It feels good to go over my darting history in one go, has made me smile a few times and that's most certainly a good thing!


That's great Kameleon Smile

Nice to hear your story, thanks for sharing. It sounds like your a pretty good player then, not too shabby beating Bunting and Jenks, well played!
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I'm 51 and have been playing darts all my adult life on and off. In the mid 1980's i played in the Hunslet league in Yorkshire for a pub called The Blooming Rose, now sadly closed down.

I use a set of John Lowe 25g darts bought in 1983, with short shafts and Pear flights. I collect players darts but cant seem to throw with anything other than the Lowe's.

I've never been a brilliant player but average around 25 darts for a leg of 501, so probably good enough to hold my own in a pub team so if any teams in or around Huddersfield are short of players let me know.
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(01-05-2015, 03:51 PM)shotmark Wrote: I'm 51 and have been playing darts all my adult life on and off. In the mid 1980's i played in the Hunslet league in Yorkshire for a pub called The Blooming Rose, now sadly closed down.

I use a set of John Lowe 25g darts bought in 1983, with short shafts and Pear flights. I collect players darts but cant seem to throw with anything other than the Lowe's.

I've never been a brilliant player but average around 25 darts for a leg of 501, so probably good enough to hold my own in a pub team so if any teams in or around Huddersfield are short of players let me know.

Nice one Mark and welcome to the forum!

Thanks for posting your story, the Lowes are great darts, I used to throw them a few years ago but switched to others since, thinking of giving them a go again actually Smile
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All started when i was about 16, I used go down to my parents local and watch the older lads play and one night after a match one of them asked if I wanted to have a game of shanghai to which I said yes. I was immediately hooked, rubbish but hooked. Went there playing shanghai after they practiced and had matches most weeks. I had no darts so the guy gave me a spare set.So I put up a board at home and just threw there with friends for nearly two years occasionaly going to the pub for shanghai.When i turned 18 I started drinking in a pub just down the road from my parents local where they had a much better team.I sat there every Fri night watching when the owner asked me why I don't play and I told him I can't chalk so he offered to do it for me once I stood with him watching until I got the hang of it, playing the better players getting hammered most nights but improving non the less and that's where I learned my out shots and just counting in general.
The pub I played shanghai in were short a player for the coming season so i asked could i join but the captain and some senior players said no i wasn't good enough, which upset me. So i got onto a friend of mine who worked in another pub to start up a team and we did and won the league with the final game against the boys that told me I wasn't good enough with me beating the captain to clench it Smile you wouldn't believe how happy that made me!We played there for 3 years winning the league twice until that pub closed down.
I joined another team just outside my town in the premier league where my game just got better and better. I stayed there for a few years until I finally got a game for county as a sub.Shortly after that my son was born so darts was kind of put on the back burner and I slowly got worse to the stage I wasn't good enough anymore. I came back to the team that taught me to chalk and played there for a year winning the league but I just had no interest anymore so packed it in.
I'm back playing now after 3 or so years on the sidelines ,we are bottom of the league but it don't mind, I'm enjoying the game again.In fact I'm loving it.

Wish I had a chance to thank both the guy who gave me the darts (which I still used up until a few months ago) and the guy who chalked for me so I could play in the early days, they sadly have both since passed and without them I would probably never started playing this brilliant sport.
180's in 2016 so far - 29
180's in 2015 . - 119

Highest out this year. - 117
Highest out 2015  - 170

Highest Checkout - Practice 170,Match 152

Best 501 - Practice 10 darts,Match 13 darts

Darts used - Red dragon Invicta 97
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(01-05-2015, 09:06 PM)dartitis dave Wrote: Wish I had a chance to thank both the guy who gave me the darts (which I still used up until a few months ago) and the guy who chalked for me so I could play in the early days, they sadly have both since passed and without them I would probably never started playing this brilliant sport.

I think in a way, you kinda just did.
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Thunk, thunk, thunk, walk, chalk, pull, turn, walk, turn, repeat...

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That's great Dave, how sweet that must have been to beat the guy who said you were not good enough!!! Classic! Smile
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(01-06-2015, 12:48 PM)Getagrip Wrote: That's great Dave, how sweet that must have been to beat the guy who said you were not good enough!!! Classic! Smile

It was brilliant and what drove me to get better! He played for my local which is why I actually started playing again, got offered the chance to start a b team in there and I jumped at the chance to play against him again.He didn't like that there was going to be a second team and packed it in, now there's only one team there Smile He still to this day maintains I'm no good what ever his problem is.Oh well I look forward tp meeting him somewhere again down the line
180's in 2016 so far - 29
180's in 2015 . - 119

Highest out this year. - 117
Highest out 2015  - 170

Highest Checkout - Practice 170,Match 152

Best 501 - Practice 10 darts,Match 13 darts

Darts used - Red dragon Invicta 97
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Stuff him then, he sounds like a miserable git if he cant accept you have proved him wrong.
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I shared a portion of my darting adventures in my intro already, but I'd like to share some adventures that got me hooked even more.

So I was in my twenties when I played a game of 301 out of fun, to see how I would cope against "big guys" I was watching play just earlier before. I knew nothing about going for triple lipstick and all that fuzz. I only knew: the bigger you score, the faster you come down. 19 seemed a comfortable section to aim and thow at - treble 19, 19, treble 19. Jaws dropped all over the pub. "How long have you been playing, son?" - My first three, serious darts, to be honest. Jaws and eyes all over the place again. (That hidden gift, I guess, that might even turn into a curse if you take it too seriously, and I guess that's the main cause of my slump. People always told me how fascinating it was watching me do stuff with my left hand so precisely.)
From there, my adventure started. Quite bumpy though, as I wasn't nearly as good as those three darts I threw. Nerves, responsibility, good opponents, it was a terrible mix. I couldn't neither concentrate nor stay relaxed. I was doing what I am doing often these days: look at my hand and try to make it go straight back to the eye and forth - big mistake - that coordination can be "blind" too (that's how I got my three double 3's tonight). Besides, I had to learn the hard way that I simply can't keep a perfectly angled elbow/upper arm, my fingers would cramp and I can't release properly (the triple 5 is getting battered alot that way), no matter the stance - and I have to trust my lefty powers Big Grin

So I played two seasons of team league in the lowest class. The second season already started to become "less challenging", when in fact, the electronic darts machine showed a 20 to 25 points per darts average. I even dared to go for 20's, many rounds of 60 with an occasional 85. Quite steady. I liked that. And then, towards the end of the season (we were already qualified for the finals), it happened: 60, 60... "oh dear, could it be?" shaky throw and triple 1. Too bad, but it had an impact anyway: 7 darts for a 301.

On our way to the finals I got my hands on a brochure: special guests: some german/mexican soft dart player (world champion at the time I believe) and Mister Mensur Suljovic himself. I knew him from earlier researches I've done on the web, and I was excited to see some proper shooting action going on. So after the first round of matches was over, players had a chance for a meet and greet with these two players. Needless to say, I wanted a shootout with Mensur. I didn't care about winning or losing, I wanted to see where my skills are against someone who competes against britons. 6 darts to warm up, a great, warm shakehands and off we were. He got tons, I got 85's. He got a 140, I answered with a ton. I could see there was little to no chance, but it was nice to see that I can keep up somehow. Besides that, I was nervous, and it was quite a task keeping my hand still. Big Grin

So season three catapulted me in another dimension: 501, masters out. My brain told me: right. now you have to do that in the same amount of darts you used to do 301 with some months ago. And it wasn't too bad, I also had quite a sparring partner with a team mate of mine, who wasn't too shy of hitting tons on the trot. Again, finals called, although no special guests. It was italian finals though, so competition was high anyway. Team competition didn't go that well, contrary to the singles I disputed. Sadly for my sparring partner, he had to give in against me at the finals, but we had a great time battling eachother over the whole 7 legs with a crowd I never imagined to be interested in my game.

A week later I joined a bigger tournament, basically "Italian masters championship" of sorts. I was an underdog, pretty much a Mensur against Phil Taylor. It seemed hopeless, but again, I wanted a challenge. It was the day I got "in the zone". The trebles were huge, the flow was right, the noise didn't bother me at all. Tons, Ton-fortys - quite steady in fact. I think it was the first event in which I went for 90+ average - insane. Although, it took me a defeat against one of the elites, who dared closing the door with a bull. That itch, I tell you! I wanted "revenge", the first that had to step up against me had to take it. Up came: captain of the italian team - great. Ton - Ton - 137 - 50 (sloppy, I know). 114 left. 60, 18, 36. Second game: Ton. lipstick, lipstick "oh, here we go again eh? Keep calm, three is magic" lipstick. My first max in a bigger tournament, against a big one - and I wasn't quite cheering, it wasn't over yet. Behind my back some omg's and light clapping was going on. 96 left, checkout in 2, opponent baffled, shakes hand, turns around, orders a pint out of shock. Crowd amused.
I managed to keep going until the semis, with pretty much the same steadiness as before. And the crowd enjoyed it, so much in fact that pretty much everybody was watching me play against whoever while the other players were pretty much for themselves (unless they weren't throwing, in that case their eyes went over my board, too). I managed to hit another max, which was celebrated in a small scale version of the Ally Pally. It was crazy, I mean, we are in Italy, we'd celebrate football over darts any day, haha. We went all the way in legs, when I had to hit the biggest outshot for the whole day against his 32: 140. I felt like Mensur: take your time lad. lipstick ("oooooh"), lipstick ("AAAAAAH!"), fingernail away from two 10's ("OOOOOOOOH!" claps and cheers for a nice attempt). Opponent shuts the door, turns around, turns me around and raises my hand "This lad should have won it, give it up to this young man" - coming from one of our best italian players at the time - I was almost next to tears, haha. Third in the end, oh well, and then comes this medal and 500 Euro cash - amazing. But not as amazing as seeing random people cheering for you.

I kept going for some while at this level, but soon I was "out of opponents", goals at Fidart are low to non-existant and steel darts is something nobody seems to know about around here. So I was stuck in a league where the season money you would earn landed back into the electronic dart boards (that's right, we had to pay for our games!), and the only thing you could do "big" was Las Vegas soft tip dart with (I'm sorry) that odd whole 50 points bull and 10mm doubles and trebles. Prize money? Don't make me laugh. And down went everything: pleasure to play, get better, win big. And so my first slump started, which even lead to let me quit playing for several years. Now I'm on my way back, also thanks to this forum and obviously the PDC games I enjoy watching - it reminds me that there's a 20 kilo trophy to be won and lifted. And it reminds me to bloody relax, sometimes I'm as stiff as a bar of metal when throwing, arcing to the left and hitting more 45's than 180's - because I want to believe that I can be in England someday, too.
Thomas - crazed dart player from Italy - fighting his first big slump

Darts in use: Dave "Chizzy" Chisnall's pixel 90% tungsten 18g soft tip, 22g steel tip
Leftie, and proud of it
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So yesterday I had my first pre-season friendly with my new-old team. I was somewhere between relaxed and ultra nervous. I'm still nowhere near my old levels so I didn't know what to do with the situation.
And then, as I stepped up that line, I felt relaxed again. "There's nothing to win and nothing to lose, take it as practice with a set goal". Sixty, five, twenty. Cool, first dart hits the lipstick just as I aimed for the plastic border. Still needed 20+ darts per match, but I managed to win the first set. Second set was mind:blown. 125, 125, 125. Not a max but what the heck! 14 darts, about 100 average, 2nd match a 15 darter. Outshot on bull. My captain: "that's our ticket to the finals lads!"
Still, I'd pretty much prefer steady 15 darts instead of wonky 15 to 30, haha.
We lost 13-4, 3 sets out of 4 from me. I can still do it, I'm just not PDC material yet. Sad
Thomas - crazed dart player from Italy - fighting his first big slump

Darts in use: Dave "Chizzy" Chisnall's pixel 90% tungsten 18g soft tip, 22g steel tip
Leftie, and proud of it
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