Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Over Now

What a 10 days it was for myself and a few others during the Sky Bet Grand Prix in the Citywest. The 3 Part exhibitions went great so they did. Party hit a 150 with 3 bulls on the Wednesday and the Friday either side of his 6.5 victory over Wozza in Edenderry on the Thursday. I have to say the Venue in Edenderry was absolute class and I would like to think we'll be back there soon. Slight bit of hassle directed at myself and John at the Friday night exhibition but nothing i had not seen before so it is hardly worth mentioning.

The PDPA tournament went well on the Saturday with Taylor claiming victory before Barney turned up on Sunday to claim the Budweiser UK open qualifier. Put the 2 big guns in good shape for their week ahead that did.

The Free exhibition was fantastic also. Picked up in style, fed drink and food for the night before being returned to our hotel at a very reasonable hour. Manley and Phil Jones bounced off each other well and a great night was had by all and we managed to raise a couple of hundred euro for 11 year old Lewis Edmundson who has a terminal disease. Lewis has had alot of help from the dart players of late as a fund raising exhibition was held in the Belroy hotel, Blackpool last July on the eve of the Bobby Bourn tournament. I have met Lewis and his story is a heart breaking one so I'll save that for another time.

Ya know it was amazing before the first dart was thrown in the Grand Prix it had already being hectic and things were not about to ease off. People always looking for the free passes. The radio interview for Newstalk etc etc and to be honest i was looking forward to not drinking for once but that is very hard to do at these events. In the players bar on Monday were Vinny Jones, Jimmy Magee and "finchy" from the office who i must say was a tremedous laugh. Part going out when he did was a shock. Walshie going out was not too much a shock as he is currently plagued with Dartitis and he may get worse before he gets better. He doesn't deserve to have got that so i hope he comes through that and starts to threaten again. If anyone read my NAP of the week they would have seen that 3 weeks ago i said Callaby would beat Painter 2.0 at 7/1. That came in with ease in fact and i must say i had a very profoitable week beginning with Super Cally.

Anyway everyone saw the tournament on the box so i'm going into a night by night review. Wozza unlucky versus Barney i thought and we almost had an icident with Wozza and the Power in the players bar that night but it was prevented if you will. All in all Taylor was not overly impressive throughout the week and will have to up his game for the Worlds. I'm delighted to see Terry Jenkins get into the league. He deserves it and will do well in it when it kicks off in Feb.

Board assignments out for this weeks PDPA and UK's in Scotland and interesting participants for the UK's are BDO's Gary Anderson ( no.1 in the "world" apparently) and Dutch men Michael Van Gerwin and Vincent Van der Voort. Of course it doesn't mean anything but maybe you can read things into that yourself or of course maybe you cant.

Thanks to all who made the week great. You always have a laugh with the same heads you always see on the circuit. Keith, Sue ,Kelly and Cally along with Ritchie and Diane. Vic and Sal. The tarts with the darts, Viv and Julie of course. All the boys from Tramore had a good laugh too. Great time to. Thanks to 3 out of 4 of the exhibition venues leading up to it. We'll do it all again some time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It all Starts Here

The busy part of the year for me will begin Wednesday for me with the lead up to The World Grand Prix starting for me with a trip to the airport to collect Johny Part. It was initially going to be a flight from Canada but he was called up by the BBC to commentate at Bridlington to commentate on the BDO Winmau world masters this weekend which was won by 17 year old Michael Van Gerwin who beat Wolfie in the final. Almost felt sorry for Wolfie but couldn't be arsed. Van Gerwin will surely be PDC bound and what a great player he is. While this was going on his idol Raymond Van Barneveld was being beaten in the final by world number 10 Terry Jenkins in the final of the PDPA players event in Holland. Part didn't go to this after his offer from BBC. I'm getting away from the beaten track here so I'll begin again.

Wednesday he'll be in at 10.20am but instead it will br a flight from the UK and we'll head to the SPA hotel Lucan from there. Game of golf and a few pints maybe before we'll get ready for his exhibition which is on at the County Bar Lucan which promises to be huge. Thursday morning I have to collect Wozza and then we go to Newstalk 106 studio for our chat with the "off the ball" crew which will be aired on Monday night. Go back to get Partie and its off to Edenderry for the big one. Up Friday and its back to the Citywest as thats where we stay from here in. Friday night exhib is near enough to taxi it so that will be the final exhibition before the PDPA tournament starts Saturday at 12 noon. That'll finish about 6pm. Few drinks Saturday night. Sunday 12noon its the UK open qualifiers which will finish again about 6pm. Myself, Phil Jones, Pete Manley my girlfriend Fiona and our friends Keith and Sue will then Limosine it down to Timolin Co.Carlow for our free exhibition coming back to the Citywest that night. Monday is the start of the TV event so depending on results I wont know my intenary for the week ahead but unlike last year we I need a good showing in particular from one or two people so my fingers are crossed. All preparation will be done over the Saturday and Sunday and this is when the real business and the big money is up for grabs.

My bet of the first round is going to be Andy Callaby to beat Painter 2 sets to 0 in the. This is priced at 7/1 and I'll be all over this bet as I think circumstances will mean that Super Cally will be certainly up for this one and over a short format at the scene of his finest hour in 2004 and all this will drive him on for victory. To win the match ouright he is at 5/4 which is a great bet too.

Great news today that my mate Niall Bohan has been awarded the King of Poland position. Niall is a tower of strenght in his native Poland and his policy will be to drive Poland into the EU sooner rather than later and to decrease to immagration issue. An optimistic character and he see's Poland as the land of opportunity and his drive shall be welcomed in his new role as King. Well Done from all at darts exhibitions. Especially Jamie. Jamie thinks you'll do a great job as do I.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Peter Manley

Peter " One Dart" Manley is the player that will play in the free darts exhibition which is now fully booked for Sunday 22nd October at O Briens lounge, Timolin, Co.Kildare/Carlow. I told the venue they were succesful in obtaining the exhibition yesterday but only notified them of the player today. I was going to leave them wait and find out who it was on the day but i suppose that would not be very fair. Although i mentioned the reason for chosing this venue was the limosine they have offered there are one or two other reasons too. I have ran exhibs here before with Wozza twice and Jamie once and the lads here have ran a bus to the Wozza V Part exhib in Edenderry next Thursday. Also i know for a fact that the back bone of the people who work in O Briens and the vast majority of people who drink there have tried to keep Carlow darts head above water it has not gone all that well for them and hopefully this will help.

To be honest i had a lot of pubs in lots of different counties interested and i have never denied trying to promote this game in counties that are fading and to be even more honest i've given up trying to promote in my own county Waterford so that ruled them out. They dont support things for spite and through bitterness and for that reason i feel sorry for the genuine fans in my own county as naturally i would have chosen them had it been logical and feasible. Cork had a few entries but Cork will have other opportunities. It is a big county and it is easy to irratate one venue if you choose another. Laois/Offaly/Westmeath will have a lot in 2007 and have the Part V Wozza one in Offaly only 4 days before the Manley one so they'll be content with that. Limerick did have a good case but travelling 4 hours on Sunday after the PDPA tournament would have made us push for time. Mayo can fuck off as it is a hole and always come out of the wood wotk when there is something to be had for nothing. Remember that idiot i wrote about a few weeks ago. Thay never cease to amaze me up there. If it was a GAA exhibition they could have it alright.....arseholes.
So that is why i chose Carlow. They are honest, hard working, interested, honoured to have it for free so that is where the Limo idea has come from and above all i know the county needs it and will appreciate it and thats all that matters.

For some venues i am genuinely sorry for not chosing you but you know its not personal so dont take it to heart. For others i genuinely never gave you a moments thought as you have probably ran crap exhibitions before and were afraid to pay for something or were chancing your arm or even taking money off people to play the pros. The worst exhibition i had was with Jamie in Middleton last May. Totally crap. Calling it crap was being kind to it and this fella wanted this one. Make you laugh wouln't it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wedding Bells

Just back from London after my mad couple of days at that wedding i was telling you about. I'll have a few photos up on the site in the next couple of days so you can see them. A great one of Gary Mason. Jesus he is a big bastard. 24 stone to be exact and I would not like to get a dig off him. In the 2 days their we had people tripping up people flashing people dancing cheering and generally talking bollox. I even made a speech after about 10 pints but nobody could understand my accent at that time of the night. We had a crazy booky who gave Ritchie and Harvey 10/1 on Scotland and 9/1 on Sir OJ who bought won by the way.

Speaking of crazy bookies. I was amazed to see the other day that on Odds Checker Bristowe is 2000/1 for the next World Championships whereas Harvey is 4000/1. We got some good laughs off that one. Bristowe cant play any more and he is ahead of Harvey.Maybe that bookie read about the bucking Bronco a few weeks ago but if you go into odds checker you will see exactly that.

Checked there today and saw that there was 6 comments on my last write up. My webmaster Conny text me about an hour ago and said there are 2 more to go on it too that he'll publish tomorrow. I cant use the daily blogs to get into debates about darts the whole time. I had my factual opinion and anonymous had his. I do honestly welcome that though as it does generate interest and as we know all sport is made up with matters of opinion and sometimes they can be a bit off the rails like in this case but i do sincerely welcome them. Read the comments and am only scratching my head with one of them but thats the way it so so thats that. Maybe anonymous will come to purfleet this year and might change his mind. He might even come to the exhibition with Wozza and Part next week. He can come over and buy me a pint if he wants.

Speaking of Exhibitions the decision to award the FREE exhibition that i spoke about last week has been decided. It will be held in O Briens lounge in Timolin, Co.Kildare and they were informed of that today as promised and the fact that we will be picked us up in a limosine had nothing to do with our decision though. It is provisonally booked for Sunday night 22nd October. The night before the Grand Prix starts. The top 10 player who the exhibition is with will play on the opening night in the Citywest so that might give O Briens an idea of who it is. The MC on the evening will be Mr Phil Jones who will return from the PDC at the finals night of the Worlds so it'll be good to have him over for the night too.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Newstalk 106

During the Grand Prix in Dublin it is hopeful that Wozza will be wearing the sponsor logo of National radio station Newstalk 106. I was spedking to a producer of the show "off the ball" over the past couple of days trying to sort something out and Myself and Alan are now provisionally booked into the studio before the Grand Prix kicks off for a chat about the game, tournaments and darts past and present and what have ya. All is set up up with Newstalk at the moment so we will hopefully finalise that in the next day or so. Newstalk have had a great proposal with regards promotion of the the game too so we look forward to the dealings we'll have with them over the last week in October and in the future.

Cannot go without replying to the comment posted in yesterdays blog about me apparently putting down the BDO. What I said is not my opinion. It is pure fact. I complimented them by saying they'll always be a base for people starting to play and competing at county level but the simple fact they lack professionalism is there for everybody to see. In late 1992 16 players who were then BDO formed the WDC which was set up to gain more TV tournaments other than just 1 which is the Worlds. The BDO not being used to being argued with proceeded to ban those 16 from all BDO events thereafter. A ban that risked the livlihood of all those 16 players who by now were unable to play tournaments,at county, superleague or even exhibition level because of the ban put on their heads by the boys with the red blazers. I must emphasise Barry Hearn did not get involved with the 16 who broke away until a later date. A lot of these pro's who left were now being hit in the pockets so the panic button was pushed by Chris Johns and Mike Gregory who like babies went running back after they were promised Christmas everyday and forever regreted that thereafter. It got to a stage when some of the now 14 went down to their pub for a beer were ignored by their former friends and colleagues. How childish was that. When the lads realised that the only defence was attack they brought the BDO to court and won when the Tomlin Order was set up preventing "restraint of trade". This meant the 14 were now free to play again.County, Super league, exhibitions and basically everything. Sky came in when the boys were the WDC and covered the 94 and 95 championships before Mr.Hearn got involved and the new name of Professional Darts Corporation was set up and rightly so. The BDO gave these lads no choice. They didn't want to leave. You must understand that but the game of darts was dying and the BDO were willing to leave that happen. Bare in mind it was the top 16 in the world who walked out when they did.
Of course everyone in the PDC has played BDO. It started with just 14 players. If you wanted to play at all you had to play with them. In 93 there had only been 9 world champions to date. Ree's had packed it in. All 8 had had enough. Does that not tell you what they were and believe or not still are dealing with.
PDC players do not get appearance money either. Thats a crazy statement. The reason the players leave is money yes. The simple opportunity to win more as we now have more tournaments. It costs more to play more so dont forget that and the chance is there for some regular TV exposure. Even BDO players want for that but most of them have said so much in the past they are too stubburn to come across now. Spoke to one of them who is coming over in 2007 and he told me that. Straight from the horses mouth that one. I know for a fact 5 will jump ship in Feb 2007. Footballers wanna play foorball, golfers wanna golf and dart players wanna play darts. Its as simple as that.
If some and may I emphasise some wanna have a drink off stage surely its their decision. Drink and darts will sadly always go hand in hand but what i was having a go at is the players name attached to the Showbiz darts the other night. Both have gone on celebity fat club in the previous 2 years and admitted to what they drink and one couldn't finish a head to head with a PDC player live on TV in November 2004. What a way to promote your organisation. Only for that lad is such a decent skin I'd go on. As regard Mr. George I'll say nothing. You know the BDO were once going to change their name to the BGO. Booby George Organisation. Or Bobby even.
And as for the jealousy. PDC and jealousy have not gone in the same sentece since 1995 and never ever will.
Hope that says it for you but the comment board is there for comments so I welcome them all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last Break before Showdown

PDC players enjoy a well earned weekend off this weekend as most of them well be locked away practicing hard with the run up to the Skybet World Grand Prix starting with the PDPA tournament in Holland Saturday week. A few have a wedding to attend this Saturday but the rest will be praticing hard.

The 2007 premier league will be extended to 8 players this year with the top 6 in the ranks going through automatically and 2 wild cards. I'm going to predict that the automatic spots go to Lloyd, Taylor, Baxter, Priestley, Manley, Mardle with the 2 wild cards going to Barneveld and Ade Lewis. If so it'll be a competitive league and with that field I cant see Taylor maintaining his unbeaten league showing stretching to a 3rd year.

The ranking system can be cruel sometimes. Wozza is defending 44 points in the Grand Prix in 2 weeks time. He is defending this many due to him getting to the final in 2004 so in order for Wozza to go up the rankings before the end of October nothing other than a win will do him. As Lloyd won it in 2004 he will defend 50 and cannot gain any ground what so ever and can only maintain his points score by winning the tournament again. That also means that because Taylor was beaten in the first round in 2004 he will defend no points and will sit on top as official number one at the end of the Grand Prix.

If you check the planet darts website today you will see the 2007 calendar already out with over £2 million up for grabs on TV tournaments so the game is really expanding now going from strenght to strenght. It also outlines how the ranking system will change in January and go to a golf style order of merit which will really sort out the men from the boys and as I said a few weeks ago you'll see some different faces appearing on TV from there on in.

In my blog the other day I never actually said the perpetual trophy that Tom Kirby won was the Shay O Brien trophy. I meant to include that in as Tom was in fact a great friend to Shay and how fitting it was that Big Tom won it and what was even more fitting was the fact he beat Wade in the final. Both Tom and Anto would probably miss Shay on the darts scene more than anybody else and I for one was delighted to see them both face off as Shay who died suddenly early on in the year would have loved that dearly. A gentleman of the game and Dublin Darts is a lesser place without him.

Has anyone seen the Showbiz Darts that has been on challenge TV all this week and for the next coming weeks. The BDO never cease to amaze me and I cant believe they put their players names to that. Its unprofessional with bad language( one former World Champion cursing and swearing), drinking on stage and in front of cameras and amazingly bad darts. Basically every the BDO has stood for since 1993. Its not great and although the BDO will always be the base of the game in getting people playing at county level and so on its not the PDC as the P as everyone knows stands for professional and thats a shame. Showbiz darts is played at the Lakeside which is shocking when you think about it. The seen of some of the greatest ever matches like Bristowe V Deller, Taylor V Gregory, Lowe V Warriner, Burnett V Beaton all at World Final level ruined when you see the likes of Johnny Vegas up against Kevin Webster from Coronation street. Ironically the base of the split in 1993 was TV coverage and the lack of it provided by the BDO and then you see this sort of rot on your tele. Have a think about it.......... There will never be a united World Championship again and I dont think we want one.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kirby Stays On.......

The injury that might have put Irelands Tom Kirby into retirement didn't stopping the Maynooth man capturing another victory in the White House yesterday (Saturday). Big Tom played brilliantly throughout the day in this perpetual open held in the Ashbourne venue. Tom beat Mick Mcgowan ,Anto McCracken and Anto Wade along the way to seal victory and has now agreed to give qualification for the next years reebok stadium ago beginning his quest in the 22nd October.

Good news regarding my revoked players list for darts exhibitions. In January next I will have the additional profiles of Alex Roy and after a few chats last weekend Adrian "jackpot" Lewis amongst one other. One or two will be departing the site too so the number is kept realistic so I'm looking forward to working with some new faces in 2007 so lets bring it on.

I'm honoured to be attending a wedding in London next Saturday of Richie Lawrie and his good ladie Diane. Its a small enough wedding with about 30 couples invited. I know Richie about 3 years now and am really looking forward to it. Why I am honoured is that attending the wedding also will be Bristowe, Baxter, Dudbridge, Jamie, Grahame Stoddart(remember him)and Wes Newton along with Jason Statham (use to go out with Kelly Brook and star of lock stock and two smokin barrels) and former British heavyweight Boxer Gary Mason so I should have a few nice photos for the photo gallery next week. Richie Lawrie manages and sponsors a few players on the circuit for a few years now and is the maddest Bastard you'll meet so the wedding should be fun. I'm useless at travelling around London so that is the bit I'm least looking forward too.

Dont forget the big exhibition in 2 weeks time Wozza V Part in Edenderry. It's the one to go to with both players getting warmed up for their respective matches against Barneveld and Sams respectively.

I've backed this Hurrican run today. He is running in Paris so he had better take his finger out and do it. Did you see the state of Liverpool again yesterday. Shocking. Points dropped now to Sheffield United, Bolton, Everton, Chelsea and I forget who else but how pathetic is that.

Did anyone see Setanta sports the other night with their coverage of The Irish Open. The commentator was an absolute joke. Calling wrong shots , giving wrong info on outshots and refering to Steve Maish as Steve Hynde. Who the fuck is Steve Hynde? Their is a pro player called Steve Hine so maybe he got it arse ways for that reason.......Idiot. Easy know he was from Mayo.

The decision on the free exhibition will be made by Monday week lads so I'll keep you posted. Do however have a hot favourite at the moment to get it so I'll keep you posted.