Jake Jones: JJ Answers The Big Questions!

During the lockdown, many players have taken this chance to improve their darts. We spoke with one player who has been getting renewed attention this lockdown for his superb online performances, Stoke On Trent’s Jake Jones.

Dars In Stoke darts knockouts darts leagues in Stoke Staffordshire

Jake, who is currently playing the Unicorn the Challenge Tour, spoke with DartsInStoke’s Shaun Rogers for Darts World:

Q. Let’s start and take this back to January and Q School, what was your thoughts heading into
the event? Am I correct in thinking it was a last-minute decision to go?

A: Well it wasn’t quite a last-minute decision but I’d say in about mid-November I made my mind up that I wanted to pursue darts properly again and there was only one way to do that. My thoughts exactly were to just enjoy it and see how things go. I knew I had the game to get through but it was a tough task after having 5 years out of competitive tournaments.

Q. You did have some time away from competitive darts before this year?
A: Yes that’s right. Before December I hadn’t played anything competitively since the development tours and there under 23. I’m 26 now so that shows at least 3 or 4 years out of competitive tournaments.

Q. On day one you had Josh Howarth and then Wes Newton how did you feel day 1 went for
A: Well I wasn’t expecting much on the first day as I was out of tournament practice but game-wise I played quite well, and let Wes Newton off really. So mixed emotions about my first day.

Q. Day two you had a good run to the last 32 loosing to Dave Prins, did you feel more
comfortable on day 2 having got the first one out the way
A: Day two started off well for me, I beat some very good and seasoned players in Kevin Mcdine and Mark Barilli to get through to the last 32 averaging a few 90+ averages but came up against a steady Dave Prins, like the day before I let him off with a lot of missed doubles but that darts and I knew I had 2 more days to do well and only needed one more decent run.

Q. Over days 3 and 4 you also seemed to be comfortable with your game with match averages
in the high 80’s and 90’s you must have looked back on the Q School experience and felt good
looking forward to the future

A: Well where do I start with day 3 and 4. As I didn’t have a lift on Friday I had to drive myself so after day 2 concluded I left my car at the venue overnight right in front of the Robin park tennis centre doors. I come to the venue Saturday morning to start day 3 and found out that someone had smashed my car up and robbed my darts and other stuff out of my car so I had to play with a borrowed set off a complete stranger in the venue. I was devastated, to be honest, as I practiced so hard for 2 months running up to the tournament to just have it taken away from me. I didn’t feel comfortable at all the last 2 days with someone else’s darts even though I had averages of 95+ and a few high 80’s I still felt very uncomfortable and was gutted for a couple of days after Q school.


Q. You managed before the world went crazy to get in the challenge tour events 1-4 with a Last
16 finish on the 3rd event how was that experience
A: Yes I played challenge tour 1-4 and had a very tough draw first round on the 1st event losing to an on-form John O’Shea with him averaging 103+. The 3rd event like you said was my best performance-wise as I played brilliantly all day finally losing to a great player in Nathan Rafferty. The experience none the less brilliant and intend to get a lot further when lockdown ends and the tournaments come back on.

Q. Did you attend any of the UK Open qualifiers if so how did you find them?
A: I did attend one in Nottingham and it wasn’t my best experience. I got there at 10 o’clock to find out that apparently I had not entered, upon showing them a confirmation email I was finally allowed to play. I played my first game at possibly 12 pm and my second game around 5 pm. The waits were ridiculous as there were around 200 players on 6 boards, but if you want to get in a professional televised tournament, days like that are rewarded brilliantly for the individual that gets through.

Q. Once lockdown happened did you see this as a time to get on the board and get focused on
your game
A: Oh definitely, as soon as lockdown came and furlough came apparent it was an opportunity for me to get on the board and play like I’ve always wanted to.

Q. On average how many hours practice do you put in on a week?
A: Well at the moment I’ve been playing tournaments more or less every day/every other day and practicing constantly. I would say about 3 hours on average a day so about 21-25 hours a week.

Q. And what’s the normal routine?
A: Normal practice for me is match practice. There is no better practice for me than a match against someone. You can practice doubles all day long or you can practice around the board all day long but for me there’s no better practice than match practice.

Q. You have been tearing up knockouts and online events with 93+ avg games and some
excellent darts, how do you feel about your game currently?

A: My game is currently in such a good place. My consistency level is so good at the moment but, don’t get me wrong, I’ve hit a few 82’s a few 85’s recently but for weeks now my game is consistently around 93-95 average mark and on some occasions, 102-106 averages have been hit.

Q. What has been the most challenging aspect and the best aspect to you of playing players
online during lockdown?

A: The most challenging by far is trusting people online. There are so many people out there that just want to win, win, win. If you can’t win without cheating then don’t play. Simple. Some games I’ve constantly had to watch the board and caught a few people out and it puts you right off your rhythm. The best aspect I’d say is being able to still play competitively during such a rubbish time also meeting a lot of new people from all over the world who are genuinely top people.

Q. When we come out of lockdown and back into playing on a tour whatever that might look like what do you see for you and your game, where do you hope to take this good form have you set any plans for the rest of the season
A: I haven’t thought much about it yet as we don’t know how long or when all this will be blowing over, but one thing I can assure is that I will definitely keep practicing to keep up this consistent form I’ve been producing recently. What I do see personally for me is to be pushing up the challenge tour rankings and trying to get that elusive PDC tour card that everyone strives for. I know I’ve got the game for it. It’s about producing it consistently that matters.

Q. Like most players sponsorship to play in the tour is key are you looking for sponsors and if
any are reading what do you feel is your best attribute you can offer to bring them a return on
investing in you
A: I’m currently looking for a sponsor and I’m not going lie, I’m in talks with a few management teams/sponsorship deals. My best attribute I would say is that I’m a dedicated, loyal, and determined guy who wants the best for me, my family and anyone who wants to back me. I’ll always try my best if I’m 4-0 down first to 5. I would never give up and always think I could win the game.

Jake Jones has demonstrated some of his huge talent recently.

Q. You, like most players, work for a living and have a family to look after, how do you find
the balance between family time and darts time?

A: Like anyone who does sports at a high level it’s a hard task. I get up at 6:30 every morning and scaffold for 9 hours a day every day Monday to Friday. I get in at about 5 o’clock most days, shower, and then play with the kids until tea time. Then at around 6:30 pm, it’s bath time for my kids and bed for 7:30 pm. Then tidy up time and settle at about 8:30 pm.

It’s hard to feel like practicing after a tough day but what I’ve come to realise over the last 6 months is if you want something out of something as I do with darts then you make time. Even if I get on the board at 9 pm I will practice until near midnight to make sure I’ve done enough. It’s good that I’ve got good backing from my girlfriend and children who push me and get me on the board as well even if I feel like a lazy day.

Catch the quickfire round, of Shaun’s Q& A,with Jake Jones here

Betway Premier League - Night 15 Round-Up

Jake vs The Power: Jones Muses on a Fantasy Match-Up.

During the lockdown, many players have taken this chance to improve their darts, at home, and with online darts. We spoke with one player who has been getting loads of attention during ‘lockdown’ for his superb online performances, Stoke On Trent’s Jake Jones.

Stoke-on-Trent’s Jake Jones is heavily influenced by the Potteries band of legends.

First up is the warm up round. Nine quickfire style questions:

What darts do you use?: Bavaria (23 grams) from ONE80.

What’s your darts nickname?: Don’t really have a nickname but recently people have been
call me JJ.

What player do you look up to (if any)?: As I’m from Stoke-on-Trent I look up to mainly all of the pros that have been from this area. Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis, Ian White, Andy Hamilton to name a few.

Best of 21 with any player past or present who would it be and why?: Tough question. I’d probably say, Phil Taylor. As for me he is the greatest of all time so to fair against him in a long format tournament and see how I went on would be an eye-opener.

What your favorite practice routine?: I don’t have a practice routine because I tend to just
play matches or tournaments.

Fav checkout?: 82 (Bull, double 16) hands down.

What’s the ‘Walk-on’ song for when you get to the Worlds?: My walk-on song is a song called ‘Whoomp, there it is’ by Tag Team. It’s my county walk-on song as well and the team love it.

Tell us someone you feel is underrated in your darts connections?: Someone, who I think is underrated. . . ? Well he’s not underrated as everyone from around here knows how good he is but my best mate Jamie Landon. Great player but has never had the break he deserved. He’s a top lad, and a quality darter, but never had the backing and because of that never been as confident. He should be up there with the best.

Dars In Stoke darts knockouts darts leagues in Stoke Staffordshire
Shaun Rogers a.k.a Waynupya, also appear at DiS!

Name three players who will be big in five years time: I’d say Lewy Williams,
Joe Davis, Jamie Landon, Callum Matthews and Myself

Many thanks to Jake for speaking with us at Darts World. In the second part of his conversation, Shaun looks further into Jake’s ambitions and the ups and downs of his darts career so far.

Jones Defies Q-School ‘Smash & Grab’ To Stage A LockDown Resurgence

Staffordshire’s Jake Jones looked all set for a top-flight darts career. After a string of impressive results, now almost a decade ago, the Stoke-on-Trent thrower suddenly seemed to disappear without a trace. During the LockDown however he has reemerged and his tremendous talent is beginning to shine again.

Jake Jones - Mastercaller.com
Jake Jones, rumour has it he was nicknamed ‘Goldenballs’

Darts World contributor Shaun Rodgers caught up with Jake earlier this week for a long chat, more to come on that, and its fair to say that 2020 has been a mixed year for the twenty-six-year-old.

After a spell out of competition Jones had decided, albeit a bit late, to enter the PDC’s Q-School and attempt to secure a Pro-Tour card for 2020. After a solid first day Jones was struck by a horrid moment when his car was trashed and darts were stolen:

I left my car at the venue overnight right in front of the…. doors. I come to the venue Saturday morning…… and
found out that someone had smashed my car up, robbed my darts and other stuff out of my car.

so I had to play with a borrowed set off a complete stranger in the venue.

While no-one can ever know for sure Jones had seemed to be settling well, after his self imposed break, and may have challenged on the final two days.

He added:


Jake refused to allow the experience to destroy his return to the competitive game, reaching the last sixteen of a Challenge Tour event early in the season, and was just beginning to recapture his best form when Covid-19 struck the UK. The former Development Tour finalist has managed to use the opportunity of not being able to work normally, he is a scaffolder by trade, and get stuck in to his darts:

as soon as lockdown came and furlough became apparent, it was an
opportunity for me to get on the board and play like I’ve always wanted to.


The rewards have begun to flow and Jones is once more looking like the player he promised to be. Look out at dartsworld.com for Shaun’s full conversation and some great quickfire questions!

Look out for more from Shaun and Jake in the coming days!

Whitlock Adds Joins Remote 9-Dart Club.

Simon Whitlock became the latest player to hit an online nine-darter on his way to winning a ‘remote’ knockout tournament featuring other top names this weekend.

Winmau’s Simon Whitlock has had a relatively successful spell and seems to have adapted well to the distanced darting situation.

Former World Championship semi-finalist Whitlock took out his nine-dart finish during a second-round encounter with the in-form Jake Jones. The Australian’s nine-darter and the later final (vs Dobey) were not streamed online due to regulations that come alongside owning a tour card.

Simon had a disappointing time in the newly instituted PDC Home Tour but has acquitted himself well, in remote darts events, since.

‘The Wizard’ came through a field of 128 players in the tournament including Michael Smith and Chris Dobey last Saturday afternoon defeating Chris ‘Hollywood’ Dobey in the final. The event was put together by Australian Danny Kilbane, Dobey had conquered Michael Smith and the dangerous Andy Boulton en route to the final.


Meanwhile, the ‘Aussie Wizard’ removed Joe Murnan, William Borland before clinching victory over Dobey During his earlier encounter, with Englishman Jones, Whitlock hit six 180s in ten legs with two of those coming back-to-back in the final leg, Simon then completed the regulation 141 check-out to become the third big-name player to his a nine-dart finish during the lockdown months.

Unfortunately, neither Whitlock’s nine-darter nor his final against Dobey were allowed to be streamed online due to regulations that come alongside owning a tour card.

Feature pic: PDC (L Lustig)

Phil Taylor

This Week – Our Weekly Trawl Through Darts’ Archive Nets.

This edition of our regular look back through some of darts most memorable, or significant, moments, stretches from March 15th – March 21st. We journey back as far as the early 1990’s and through to 2015. Wade, Barney, Aspinall, Hamilton and Lazarenko all feature:

29 Years Ago:

Raymond van Barneveld
The RVB legend got moving in 1991. This week 29 years ago marked a good start to a signature season.

The German Open, from 1991, was in the second year of what would prove an unbroken run until this year (lets us hope that they can rearrange 2020’s event!). It was notable for a few reasons. Raymond Van Barneveld began a season that would see him win his first ranking event. RVB had to settle for a Qtr Final here though. U.S. star Steve Brown reached the final and showed a little of what was to come. Steve finished in the 3rd place in the first PDC World Championship in 1994, defeating Peter Evison in the play off match, and was still playing elite darts into his 50’s. As with a number of overseas players it is shame that we did not witness Steve at his best, for a longer time, but the slump in darts popularity made it impossible for many to travel and earn a living. Belgian Bruno Raes claimed the title overcoming Brown in the final. Raes was a quite the home player! Between 1991 and 2009 he was the whole range of Belgian events, Belgian Championships, Gold Cups Opens and National Championships were claimed repeatedly while he seemed rarely to venture beyond his borders. Indeed the German Championship may have been his only non Belgian title. Bruno make an exception for the majors in Britain, reaching the last 32 of the World Championships (x2) and the World Masters as late as 2011.

9 Years Ago:

Vincent van der Voort
Vincent was having a good start to 2011. This week saw him reach the semi’s of the RTL7 Masters.

Speaking of 2011, that year saw the only holding of the RTL7 Masters. The Dutch TV giant sponsored a invitational event not dissimilar to the current Champions League of Darts. After a group stage, four groups of three, the semi finals featured Phil Taylor vs Gary Anderson and Vincent Van de Voort against Raymond van Barneveld (handy for Dutch TV) the sponsors were rewarded with the final they craved. ‘The Power’ took on RVB with Taylor emerging triumphant, as was usually the case, by a score of 8-3 in the final.

Another event beginning to become an established feature on the calendar, was the Torremolinos Open weekend. The 2011 tournament was claimed by young Jake Jones. Jake defeated the immortal, so it seems, Paul Harvey in the final. Jones was not yet 18, whereas Harvey was in his late forties and enjoying a very good spell of results. Jones continued an excellent junior career, but is yet to realise his full potential in the game. Harvey is still playing well and was most recently spotted at Rileys qualifier for the UK Open.

5 Years Ago:

James Wade
Often overlooked James Wade was reaching finals, and winning events, from 2002 to 2015 and indeed this very weekend!

James Wade claimed the Pro Tour event held on March 15th (A feat he came close to repeating yesterday when he was runner up to Ian White). His route to the title was one of the tougher, his defeat of Peter Wright, in the final, was preceeded by wins over a handful of superb players including Micheal Smith, Gerwyn Price, Kev Thomas and Mensur. Many undervalue ‘The Machine’s career, but it should be noted that he has been winning PDC ranking events (Pro Tour) since 2002 and is still only 36 years old! Hidden away on the same day Nathan Aspinall can be seen bowing out at the L64 stage. Nathan should be a lesson to all, it is possible to have a tough time at the highest level but then to learn, re group and step up again.


Andy Hamilton
Happy Birthday to The Hammer (53).

Amongst this week’s birthdays are: ‘Big Cliff’ Lazerenko (68) and Andy Hamilton (53). Both men reached Major Championship finals, only to be thwarted by the icons of their day. In Cliff’s case Eric, John, Jockey or Bob were usually in his path. Whereas, Andy, was often prevented, from lifting trophies, by fellow Stoke-on-Trent titans Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis.

Cliff, however, did manage to lift both the British Open and the British Matchplay.