The PDC Q School experiment appears to have been a remarkable success, from most perspectives. The huge entry this year confirmed its popularity. The European branch has grown rapidly and is becoming more and more important.
Jacco Krookis a dutch writer who looked at the event before its start and even sought our view on who would qualify. It should be noted DartsWorld did very well for a UK based publication! We called Sedlacek, De Decker and more. Jacco has produced a review and kindly allowed us to introduce you to it here:
With the European Q-School 2020 coming to an end I thought it is time to look back on what happened the last couple of days in Hildesheim. Eleven players from eight different countries have won a PDC tour card for the coming two years. In this review I will look back per country on the players who surprised and disappointed me. The focus is on the eight countries who have delivered one or more new PDC tour card holders and some countries which took my attention.
Czech Republic Karel Sedlacek was the top favourite for most fans, to earn a PDC tour card, if someone from the Czech Republic would win. Karel Sedlacek wrote history, because he is the first ever player from the Czech Republic winning a PDC tour card. Ondrej Kysilka also showed what he is capable of by reaching the quarter finals on day two, but this wasn’t enough for him to earn a PDC tour card. Adam Gawlas, the runner-up of the PDC World Championship youth, only got three points with his best result being a last 64 spot on day four. But, Gawlas might be a player to look out for in the future, since he still is very young.
France Thibault Tricole was one of the players to watch in my opinion after playing great on the BDO World Championship as first ever French player to make it to a World Championship. He already just missed out a tour card at Q-School 2019. The Frenchman had a great start reaching the last 16 on day one and last 32 on day two and three. Tricole however lost in the last 128 on day four which meant he just like last year just came short of a PDC tour card ending 10th in the European Q-School Order of Merit.
For the full review, including the efforts of Austria, Germany, Poland and many more nations, click here:
With the BDO World Championships starting this weekend Jacco Krook tried to interview some players from the European countries where darts is less known. The first one he spoke to is the Romanian Gabriel Pascaru.
He is the first ever Romanian making it to the BDO World Championship and qualified by being the highest ranked player on the Eastern European ranking, who hadn’t qualified by being in the top 27 of the BDO ranking at the cut-off date. He did so by winning the Hungarian Open, Ukraine Open and Russian Open in 2019. In the O2 he will play a preliminary round against Justin Hood on Monday afternoon 6th of January. During the interview we have sometimes given some background information about the mentioned tournaments or players.
Who are you? ‘’I live in Piatra Neamț, Romania where I was born. For a living I paint cars at my own paint shop in Piatra Neamt for 8 till 10 hours a day. I am married to Alexandra and we do not have children yet.’’
When and how did you start playing darts? ‘’I was watching the darts at Eurosport when I was a kid. I found it very interesting but I had no place to play until I got to a mountain chalet where they had a board mounted outside and there were only two darts. When I got back home, I ordered my board and got on with it.’’
Which darts do you use? ‘’It’s been 6 years since I started playing darts with Gary Anderson 23 grams.’’
What are your best achievements so far? ‘’The best individual results would be to win the national champion title in 2017, second place at the Hungarian open in 2018, winning the Gibraltar Open 2018, and in 2019 winning the Hungarian Open, Ukraine Open, and the Russian open, and second place in St. Petersburg Open but last but not least, winning the Mediterranean Cup with the national team in Spain.’’
Some background information about the Mediterranean Cup: The Mediterranean Cup is a tournament like the WDF World Cup and Europe Cup in the sense that the players from the participating countries play a Men’s team, pairs and singles event and a Ladies’ pairs and singles event. It has been held since 2006 as a tournament for countries from the Mediterranean area. In 2019 when Romania won the men’s team and singles events the participating countries were Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Malta, Catalonia, Turkey, Spain and of course Romania.
Who are the top 5 players from Romania (either man, woman, youth, may of course be players of the past as well)? And why? ‘’Unfortunately, in Romania the darts players are not very many but they are constantly growing. Those who are at the helm of the Romanian Darts Federation are striving to improve Romanian darts further and further. The proof being the two international competitions that are organised in January in Bucharest, one of them being the category ” A “and not to mention organising the WDF World Cup 2019 in Cluj which proved to be a real success.’’
‘’As top players in Romania I can mention Adrian Frim (four times national champion), Alexandru Stoian, Laszlo Kadar, Cristian Cimpoca, Răzvan Negoț, but we trust there are coming several talented, young players.’’
Some background information of the top players mentioned by Gabriel Pascaru: Adrian Frim is four times Romanian national champion. At the Mediterranean Cup 2019 he made it together with Gabriel Pascaru himself to the finals of the pairs event, eventually losing 4-2 against Jacques Labre and Michael Estevez from France. He also played twice at the BDO World Masters. His best result was reaching the last 32 in 2017. In 2018 he won the Torremolinos Open.
Alexandru Stoian was a quarter finalist at the Romanian Classic 2015. In the same year he made it to the last 32 of the WDF World Cup singles.
Laszlo Kadar won the Mediterranean Cup singles 2019. His best result at the WDF World Cup singles dates from 2011 reaching the last 64, while he made it to the last 32 of the WDF Europe Cup singles in 2014.
Cristian Compoca was a quarter finalist at the Romanian Open 2010 and 2011, Rhinoceros Open 2011 and Hungarian Open 2012.
Răzvan Negoț was a quarter finalist at the Romanian Open 2010 and made it to the last 16 at the Romanian Open 2011. He made it to the World Masters three times, however he never made it to the latest stages of the event.
What is your goal for 2020 and the further future? ‘’Of course, for me the most important contest will be the World Championship in the O2, but I am focused on the rest of the competitions. Because at the moment I am in the first place in the ranking of Eastern Europe and I aim to increase my level in the next years.’’
What is your favourite tournament? And why? ‘’My favourite tournaments are the ones held at the beginning of the year in Romania (Romanian International Darts Open and Romanian Classic Darts Open), even though the 5th place is my best result here. The location, Admosvera, is a beautiful 5 stars accommodation and these two tournaments bring together quality people with whom I can hardly wait to meet year after year.’’
How often do you practise? How do you practise? ‘’Unfortunately I would like to pracitse more but because my work is busy most of the time I try to practise between 2 and 4 hours every day although it is not easy for me. I practise by using WebCamDarts for some time now, because there I find players with environments close to mine and they can have balanced matches.’’
What is your favourite moment in the history of Romanian darts? ‘’Surely the organization of the WDF World Cup 2019 is the largest darts event ever held in Romania. There were over 50 participating countries with over 600 players, the location was a magnificent one (Grand Hotel Italia in Cluj Napoca) and the Cluj Napoca is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.’’
Have you ever hit a 9-dart leg? If so when and against who? ‘’So far I have not managed the perfect game. I have two legs closed in 10 darts but I feel that when I continue with the practising and going to tournaments that moment will come soon.’’
What do you like and dislike about darts? ‘’Darts has many pluses from visiting new places and meeting new people until you have mastered how you can better your emotions. But as in any competition, the desire to win or to organize as much as possible a contest can lead to woes that do not have their place in sports.’’
What do you think about darts in Romania? ‘’I hope that in the near future, as many Romanian players as possible will pose problems to the top players in the world and the Romanian national team will continue its good start at the Mediterranean Cup.’’
Thank you Gabriel Pascaru for taking the time for the interview. And for the darts fans around the world make sure to follow this page to learn more about darts throughout Europe and some of the players competing in the upcoming BDO World Championship.
Jacco Krook is an independent darts writer. He contributes to various publications including dartfreakz.nl as well as dartsworld.com.
THE RISE OF POLISH DARTS & THE LIFE AND CAREER OF SEBASTIAN STEYER, ONE OF THE POLISH PLAYERS BREAKING THROUGH – with Jacco Krook.
Sebastian Steyer guaranteed himself a spot in the first round of the BDO World Championship by being the number 24 of the BDO Invitational Table at the cut-off date. He is the third player I have interviewed. Steyer will be the fourth Polish player to participate in the BDO World Championship. Krzysztof Ratajski was the first Polish player at the BDO World Championships after qualifying for the BDO World Championship 2009. He however lost his first round against Edwin Max (3-2). In 2017 he did slightly better reaching the last 16 where he lost 4-3 against Darius Labanauskas. Krzysztof Kciuk qualified for the BDO World Championship 2019 reaching immediately the last 16, where he was beaten 4-0 by Scott Mitchell. Karolina Podgorska is the only Polish lady to have qualified for the BDO World Championship, like Kciuk she did so in 2019. However she lost her first round match against Trina Gulliver 2-1.
In 2018 he reached the last 32 of the World Masters, where he was beaten 3-0 by Richard Veenstra. Steyer impressed at the World Trophy 2019, where he reached the semi finals eventually losing 7-4 against number one seed Richard Veenstra after he had beaten Ross Montgomery, Scott Mitchell and Roger Janssen on his way to the semis.
Steyer is however still waiting to win his first international event, however that seems just a matter of time looking at his results of 2019. Just like Boris Koltsov he came one point short of winning a PDC tour card at Q-School. He reached the final of the Polish Open in his home country, where he was beaten by Toon Greebe with 6-3. Further he was a runner-up at the Greek Open after losing 6-2 against Thibault Tricole from France. He however has a good weekend in Greece, because a day earlier he also reached the semi finals of the Acropolis Open. He also was a semi finalist at the Lithuania Open and Ukraine Open. He also made it to the PDC European Tour in Prague, where he however lost his first match.
Who are you? I am Sebastian Steyer and own a car rental company.
When and how did you start playing darts? I played football first, however after a knee injury I started playing darts.
What are your best achievement(s) so far? The semi-finals of the World Trophy and the finals of the Greek and Polish Open.
Who are the top 5 players from Poland (either man, woman, youth, may of course be players of the past as well)? And why? Krzysztof Ratajski, Tytus Kanik, Krzysztof Kciuk, Lukasz Waclawski and Sebastian Bialecki.
Krzysztof Ratajski doesn’t need any introduction. The Polish Eagle has played five World Championships, twice in the BDO and three times in the PDC with respectively a last 16 and last 32 as best result. He won a tour card by the money won at the European Tour 2018, some Players Championship events and World Championship 2019 which means he won on those events enough money to make it into the top 64 of the PDC with many players playing the whole PDC tour for two years.
Tytus Kanik earned himself a PDC tour card via PDC Q-School 2018 by winning on day three. He however hasn’t been able to reach the last 64 and therefore needs to go back to Q-School to earn a PDC tour card again. Tytus has played three European Tour events, the Austrian Darts Open 2019 reaching the last 16 was his best result, and reached the last 32 of a Players Championship four times.
Krzysztof Kciuk is one of the two Polish players having played at both the PDC and BDO World Championship. He reached the PDC World Championship 2010 by winning the Polish qualifier, however he didn’t win a game on the big stage. At the BDO World Championship he did better reaching the last 16 by beating Dave Parletti, who is the number four seed at the upcoming BDO World Championship before losing against Scott Mitchell. Krzysztof also made it to the last 32 of the World Masters.
Lukasz Waclawski has won the Ukraine Open 2018 and the Kiev Masters 2018. At the first Challenge Tour of 2019 he reached the last 32, however he only played the opening weekend, four events, of the Challenge Tour last year. Ukraine seems to suit Lukasz, because in 2019 he made it to the quarter finals of both the Ukraine Open and Kiev Masters.
Sebastian Bialecki is a great talent. He has just turned 16 years of age and already reached the last 32 of the Polish Open 2019 and the last 64 of the Polish Open 2017.
What is your favourite tournament and why? I don’t have a favourite tournament. Each tournament is a new experience and I’m glad participating in it.
What is your goal for 2020 and the further future? A good performance at the BDO World Championship and getting a PDC tourcard.
How often do you practise? How do you practise? Two times a day for two hours in the morning and evening.
Did you ever hit a 9-dart leg? I did twice, however only during practise.
What are your good and bad sides within darts? My good side is striving for a goal. I won’t say anything bad.
What do you think about darts in Poland? I am happy that the Polish players perform well and Polish darts is developing all the time.
Sebastian played in the 2020 BDO world championships from the 02 arena. He was involved in the first game but lost out to Mario Vandenbogaerde.
Jacco Krook writes for various publication and is often featured in dartfreakz.nl
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