Humphries Gets The Hump With Social Media Abuse.

LUKE HUMPHRIES admits that revealing his anxiety has made him “stronger” for the challenges ahead. The World Youth Champion opened up just under a year ago about the anxiety problems that have hindered his progress.

Can’t Hear You! Luke has struggled to blank out the abuse on social media. (pic: Taylor Lanning)

Cool Hand Luke became the first-ever Challenger to win a Premier League match against Gary Anderson in Exeter two months ago. Now he’s next in action on May 28 in the PDC Home Tour against Gary Anderson, Jamie Lewis, and Nick Kenny. But he admits it’s been a struggle after getting more online abuse after becoming a World Champion.

He said:

“Sometimes it’s hard to sit back and let people, in a way, abuse you online.“It’s got very bad in the last five to 10 years the abuse online. Fortunately I’m very hard skinned so I didn’t let it affect me. 

“I just felt that I wasn’t the only 24-year-old World Youth Champion. Dimitri van den Bergh was 24 last year when he won it but he didn’t get any stick.“So it was a bit unfair I thought.

Apparently it’s my beard’s fault. But I’ve seen 17-year-old kids have better beards than me!

“Seriously though, it was hard. I thought people would celebrate for me especially because of what I had gone through over the past six to eight months. It was all real, I really did consider giving up the game.“

I was really struggling and anyone who has been through it, will know it’s not easy to stand on a big huge stage in front of thousands of people when you’ve got anxiety. “I was just hoping that people might have celebrated it a bit. Like this is great he is World Youth Champion but he could have given up the sport eight months ago. But unfortunately it didn’t end up like that. “People see the bad instead of the good in you. “

Cool Hand Luke says his beard and eligibility for last years World Youth Championship have added fuel to the social media fire.
(PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

To read stuff can be the toughest thing about anxiety. Like Fallon for instance. People should celebrate her success. People just like to say nasty and negative things about players who do well. “I don’t see a lot of congratulations and stuff like that going on Twitter.

There’s a lot of ‘why are you in this, why are you in that and you shouldn’t be in that’. “But we wouldn’t be in it unless we were eligible, simple as that. “I do agree with what people say, 24-year-old isn’t probably classed as a youth. I see where they are coming from.

“The problem is if you are eligible to play in something which you can become a World Champion in, you are not going to turn it down.”

In May last year Humphries bravely decided to reveal all about his demons. He admitted that he was having palpitations in his chest and it spooked him. But now does he regret being so honest? He added: “Being truthfully honest I do think that opening up about there anxiety has made me stronger. In my opinion if I can fight through this, I can fight through anything. It’s really not been an easy time for me over the past 12 months.“I never thought at my age I’d have to go through something like this. But life can throw up anything, everyone knows that.

“I’m just proud of myself the way I fought back and carried on because a lot of people might have given up. “

I nearly did but I’m very proud for battling back. It’s definitely made me a stronger human being in every aspect of life, not just darts.”


Pics: Taylor Lanning

Unibet Home Tour 28: Humphries Excels As Smith Falters.

Luke Humphries won all three games in style on Night 28 of the Unibet Home Tour to ensure his progression to the Last 32.

Bullyboy had to accept second place in group 28. (PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG) MICHAEL SMITH IN ACTION

The reigning World Youth Champion put in some stunning displays, averaging 102.4 for the evening as he swept aside Michael Smith, Andy Boulton and Mike van Duivenbode.

Humphries started the evening by averaging 100 in a narrow 5-4 victory over Boulton in his opening game, but his best was yet to come.

The 24-year-old then posted an incredible 108.5 as he destroyed top-seed Michael Smith 5-2 to put himself in a commanding position going into his final game.

And his progression to the Last 32 was completed with a hard-fought 5-3 over Dutch youngster Van Duivenbode to put him on six points and out of the grasp of his competitors.

Smith had started the night with a thumping whitewash victory over Van Duivenbode, but after defeat to Humphries he could only muster second place by beating Boulton 5-2 in the final game of the night. 

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Friday with Group 29 and can be watched live and free through PDCTV for registered users (new users can sign up for FREE here), as well as through bookmakers’ websites and international broadcasters.

PDC Home Tour

Registered PDCTV members can also watch for FREE through the official PDC App.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group 28 – Thursday May 14 (1930 BST)
Michael Smith 5-0 Mike van Duivenbode
Luke Humphries 5-4 Andy Boulton
Mike van Duivenbode 4-5 Andy Boulton
Michael Smith 2-5 Luke Humphries
Luke Humphries 5-3 Mike van Duivenbode
Andy Boulton 2-5 Michael Smith


Featured Pic – L Lustig/PDC.

Kenny Claims Home Tour Group.

Nick Kenny won Group Five of the Unibet Home Tour, as the innovative new tournament continued on Tuesday night.

The fifth of 32 consecutive nights of live darts action saw Welshman Kenny get off to the best possible start with a 5-3 defeat of World Youth Champion Luke Humphries.

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG LUKE HUMPHRIES IN ACTION

Kenny, who won his Tour Card for the first time in January, then got the better of former Players Championship event winner Joe Murnan 5-2, before sealing the group win with a 5-3 victory over popular South African star Devon Petersen.

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Wednesday night with Group Six, which will see nine-time televised champion James Wade competing against Ryan Searle, Andy Boulton and Adrian Gray.

Unibet Home Tour
Group Five – Tuesday April 21 (1930 BST)
Nick Kenny 5-3 Luke Humphries
Joe Murnan 5-1 Devon Petersen
Nick Kenny 5-2 Joe Murnan
Luke Humphries 5-4 Devon Petersen
Nick Kenny 5-3 Devon Petersen
Luke Humphries 5-3 Joe Murnan


Feature pic:PDC

Unibet Home Tour – Night Five Underway. What to Expect!

The Unibet Home Tour continues on Tuesday from 1930 BST as World Youth Champion Luke Humphries headlines Group Five.

Devon Peterson enjoying some light refreshment with DartsWorld’s John Fowler!

Back-to-back World Championship quarter-finalist Humphries will line-up for the fifth night of Home Tour action alongside Devon Petersen, Joe Murnan and Nick Kenny.

The opening game of the night will see Humphries take on Welsh PDC newcomer Kenny, before popular South African star Petersen enters the live broadcast for a match with former Players Championship event winner Murnan.

All four competitors will play each other once in matches played over the best of nine legs, with a winner crowned at the end of the night.

Darts commentator Dan Dawson will be on hand to talk through proceedings, which will also include live score graphics on screen.

Unibet Home Tour 
Group Five – Tuesday April 21
Luke Humphries v Nick Kenny
Devon Petersen v Joe Murnan
Nick Kenny v Joe Murnan
Luke Humphries v Devon Petersen
Devon Petersen v Nick Kenny
Joe Murnan v Luke Humphries

MATCH ODDS

Luke Humphries 4/9 v Nick Kenny 7/4
Devon Petersen 1/2 v Joe Murnan 6/4
Nick Kenny 4/5 v Joe Murnan 19/20
Luke Humphries 4/6 v Devon Petersen 23/20
Devon Petersen 13/25 v Nick Kenny 29/20
Joe Murnan 17/10 v Luke Humphries 4/9

All odds courtesy of unibet.co.uk and correct at time of publication.


Luke Humphries Pic: L Lustig PDC

The Science of Darts – How Tungsten got it’s Technology

The science, and history, of dart development is of great interest to players, and readers of Darts World, we often get asked “how the modern game has changed?” or “what made the difference in standard?”

Coach’ always says that they “last real change was the acceptance of tungsten in the 1970’s”. Red Dragon have produced a great ‘potted history’ here:

The Tungsten in your hand is so perfectly sculptured and comfortable to your grip, you probably won’t notice the benefits of this semi-precious alloy until you try picking up an old brass dart.

Tungsten darts evolved in the mid 1970’s with the invention of high density, tungsten alloy rods, known as billets. Tungsten’s massive weight to volume ratio offered dart players an unrivalled scoring advantage over traditional brass darts. Whilst individual machinists started to fashion the very first tungsten dart barrels, it was not long before a plethora of tungsten dart brands sprung up around this blossoming market.

Red Dragon’s very own engineers were pioneers at this hugely exciting time in the history of the sport. Experts in tungsten powder metallurgy, they were one of the first companies to successfully blend tungsten with other metals such as copper and nickel, in the early mass production of these revolutionary new darts.

Leighton Rees – The First World Professional Champion.

At the same time as tungsten was re-writing the rule book for scoring averages, a global industry was emerging as the game was watched on television by millions of viewers worldwide. When Leighton Rees doubled to victory at the inaugural BDO World Championships in 1978, the future of tungsten for darts was secure.

Over the last 45 years, Red Dragon has consistently remained at the forefront of new technology and innovation, focusing on the development of profiles, trajectory dynamics and grip biomechanics. It is this genesis of eighth generation tungsten, that offers the players of today such a huge range of grip and flight dynamics to perfect to their very own throw.

With staggering tournament prize funds, now estimated to exceed £10 million per annum, the technological advantages offered by tungsten have never been so important.

Each top professional is fastidiously aware of the advantage that the perfect feel in a set of darts can give them, almost to the point of an unfair advantage.

And so it is to the top tungsten technologists that the leading players turn in their chase for the most innovative, tournament winning designs.

Congratulations therefore to our three reigning World Champions, Luke Humphries, Wayne Warren and Peter Wright as well as our team of specialist engineers who continue to push the scientific boundaries of tungsten technology.

END


Original Red Dragon Article Here

Premier League Night Five – Humphries Makes History as Smith Squashes MVG

Luke Humphries created history as the first Challenger to win in the Unibet Premier League in Exeter on Thursday as Peter Wright reignited his season and Michael Smith defeated Michael van Gerwen.

Humphries became the first guest player to claim victory in the Premier league.
(PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG) LUKE HUMPHRIES-YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

World Youth Champion Humphries claimed a 7-5 win over Gary Anderson to celebrate his one-off appearance in this year’s event with a memorable victory on Night Five at Westpoint Exeter.

The Newbury ace had drawn with Gerwyn Price when he played in Exeter last year – ironically after Anderson’s withdrawal with a back problem created the concept which gave him a big-stage opportunity.

This time he held his nerve in a dramatic conclusion to a tight contest as he denied Anderson, who missed six darts in the deciding leg to claim a draw from the match.

Anderson came from two legs down to lead 3-2 early on, and the Scot traded 14-darters with Humphries as he established a 5-4 advantage over the youngster.

Humphries finished 100 with two double tops to level in leg ten, before capitalising on three misses from his opponent to break and move 6-5 up, and landed double one to edge the win in a thrilling ending to the game.

“It feels really good,” said Humphries. “It’s a little bit bittersweet because I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but it was exciting for the fans to watch and sometimes you have to win the scrappy games.

“The final leg was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I knew I had the chance to be the first Challenger to win, and luckily Gary missed a few doubles there at the end and I got the double one.

“I felt like I had a point to prove tonight and I’m just happy to walk off the winner. I believe I can get into the Premier League one day but it’s going to take time.”

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2020 WESTPOINT ARENA, EXETER, PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG PETER WRIGHT V NATHAN ASPINALL PETER WRIGHT IN ACTION

Wright posted the highest average so far in the 2020 season of 110.00 in his brilliant 7-3 win over Nathan Aspinall.

The World Champion bounced back from last week’s 7-1 loss to Gerwyn Price in Dublin in style with a relentless display to claim his second victory of the season in style.

Aspinall played his part, but was never able to pull back level after Wright opened up a 3-1 advantage before pulling clear from 4-3 to complete the win.

“This was a lot better than last week and I got the win, which was what mattered the most,” said Wright. “I’m really happy with the performance but I still feel there’s more to come.

“I knew it was going to be a tough game because of how well Nathan’s been playing. He had a nine-darter against me the last time we played so I was very nervous tonight.

“I still missed too many doubles and need to brush up on that.”

World number one Van Gerwen, meanwhile, suffered his second defeat of the season as Smith produced a memorable performance in a 7-4 victory to claim a third successive win.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2020 WESTPOINT ARENA, EXETER, PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V MICHAEL SMITH MICHAEL SMITH IN ACTION

Smith had defeated the Dutchman in last weekend’s Belgian Darts Championship, and stormed into a 5-1 lead with finishes of 96 and 134, maintaining an average of 108.

He also won leg seven to secure a minimum of a point, with Van Gerwen taking the next three with legs of 12, 13 and 13 darts only for Smith to finally get over the winning line on double eight.

“It’s a good win and I’m happy,” said Smith. “It’s weird to come off against Michael and be disappointed that I didn’t win by more legs, but I’m glad I got the win.

“His average was better than mine but I was quite strong on my throw and luckily enough I fell over the line. It’s a big thing to beat Michael and it’s hard when you’re throwing at those winning doubles.

“He’s still the best player in the world and it feels good, but he’s not at his best at the moment. I’m in a good place, though, and long may it continue.”

Smith now sits in second place in the league table on leg difference behind Glen Durrant, who claimed his third win of the season with a superb 7-3 win over Gerwyn Price.

Durrant won the opening four legs in a sensational start, before Price took two of the next three to hit back to 5-2.

Durrant, though, finished 46 to secure at least a point and ended Price’s hopes of a fightback by sealing victory with a brilliant 129 checkout, inflicting a first loss of the season on the Welshman.

“This is one of my biggest wins and I’m so happy,” said Durrant. “Gerwyn’s been on a 13-match unbeaten run and nobody gave me a chance, and that was the fire in the belly that I needed.

“There are eight of the best players in the world in that practice room and me, and I’ve got to stop admiring everybody else and realise my own potential.

“My combination finishing right now is as good as anybody’s. I want to play the whole 16 weeks and I’m having the best time in the world at the moment in the Premier League.”

Rob Cross and Daryl Gurney shared the points in the night’s opening tie in Exeter, with the 2019 Premier League finalist hitting back from 3-0 down to move onto four league points, two ahead of the Northern Irish ace.

Gurney – bidding to move away from the foot of the table – took the first three legs without reply in a strong start, finishing 88 and 74 along the way.

Cross won the next four, with Gurney then moving 5-4 up only to see the Hastings thrower secure at least a point at 6-5, but it was the Northern Irishman who took the deciding leg on double ten to snatch a draw.

“I’m a little bit disappointed with the draw and it wasn’t what I wanted, but I’ll take it,” admitted Cross. “You can’t give people a 3-0 lead and the slow starts have been the story of my season so far.

“I got back into the game well. It’s a work in progress because I’ve made changes to my life and maybe I’m a bit less confident than I should be, but if I can get a few results that will change.

“I’m enjoying it and I love the Premier League. I’m playing well in practice and I want to start taking it up on stage now.”

Following this weekend’s Ladbrokes UK Open, the Unibet Premier League season will resume on Thursday March 12 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, where St Helens’ Stephen Bunting steps in as a Challenger against Rob Cross.

The ties in Liverpool will also see Durrant take on Gurney, Smith meet World Champion Wright, Van Gerwen take on Price and Anderson play Aspinall. For tickets, visit mandsbankarena.com.

2020 Unibet Premier League

Night Five

Thursday March 5, Westpoint Exeter

  • Rob Cross 6-6 Daryl Gurney
  • Gerwyn Price 3-7 Glen Durrant
  • Nathan Aspinall 3-7 Peter Wright
  • Gary Anderson 5-7 Luke Humphries
  • Michael Smith 7-4 Michael van Gerwen

Unibet Premier League – Night Five Preview.

Luke Humphries will make his big stage return on Night Five of the 2020 Unibet Premier League in Exeter on Thursday.

PDC ANNUAL AWARDS 2019 ARENA MK, MILTON KEYNES PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG LUKE HUMPHRIES-YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

World Youth Champion Humphries will return to the Premier League in front of a sell-out crowd at Westpoint Exeter, having appeared at the venue 12 months ago before reaching the quarter-finals of the World Championship for a second successive year in December.

Widely-regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the sport, the 25-year-old believes that becoming the first Challenger to win a Premier League match would be the ideal next step for his development as he prepares to take on two-time champion Gary Anderson.

“Everyone knows I love playing on TV, I come alive on the big stage,” said Humphries, who drew with Gerwyn Price on his appearance in the 2019 Premier League.

UNIBET PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2020 MOTORPOINT ARENA, CARDIFF, PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG GERWYN PRICE V DARYL GURNEY GERWYN PRICE IN ACTION

“I loved every minute of it up there last year, so to return to Exeter is something I’ve been massively looking forward to since I was picked.

“There is a huge opportunity for one of us Challengers to become the first one to win a Premier League game, I think I’m well capable of being that player.

“But I know I’ll be up against one of the greatest players of all-time in Gary. He’ someone I respect massively and I can’t wait to play him on the big stage.”

Anderson, meanwhile, is enjoying life back in the Premier League having sat out the 2019 campaign through injury, and made it two wins from four against Rob Cross in Dublin last time out.

However, the two-time World Champion insists he is not paying much attention to the league table at this stage of the competition.

“As I’ve said before, I just want my game to be back where it was,” said Anderson.

“It’s getting there each week and I’m enjoying it. The darts are getting a bit tighter and when they go well, they go well but there are a few off darts now and again.

“Luke’s a great talent. He’s a classy player and one of these players who is coming through. He’s no mug and if I got beaten by him, I wouldn’t be ashamed at all.”

World number three Price is the form player heading into Night Five, with the Welshman looking to extend his 13-match winning run against Glen Durrant.

Having picked up his first title of the year at Players Championship Six, Price defeated Peter Wright to claim his opening win of the 2020 Premier League campaign, before winning the first European Tour event of the year in Belgium on Sunday.

“At the moment I feel more confident than ever,” said Price, the only undefeated player in this year’s Premier League after opening with three draws.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the best player in the world but I’m up there in the top four.

“Years ago I felt I was there to make up the numbers but now I’m not. I’m not number three in the world for no reason, I’m here because I want to win everything.

“Obviously I want to win everything, but I don’t think that’s possible with the standard I’m up against. I just want to turn up, play well and hopefully keep picking up trophies.

“First things first, I want to go to Exeter on Thursday and pick up another two points there, that’s the first thing on my mind.”

In contrast to Price, Michael van Gerwen enters March without a PDC title to his name for the first time since 2011 as he prepares to take on Michael Smith in a repeat of the 2018 Premier League final.

However, the world number one got back to winning ways in the Premier League in Dublin last week, holding his nerve to defeat Challenger William O’Connor who was well backed by over 9,000 Irish fans.

“I feel good and that’s the most important thing but I know there’s still more to come,” said Van Gerwen.

“I think my double percentage is better than ever, I only need to make sure I keep my scoring going and I’m finding the right combination. I hope I can do some more damage in the upcoming weeks.

“I’ve got a baby coming soon and it’s a busy time at home, so things are changing for me a little bit – but in a good way.

“Michael Smith is one of the biggest talents I’ve ever seen – and he knows that, but sometimes his attitude is against him. I’ve practiced with him for a long time.

“Something he doesn’t like is pressure, and when he throws just the darts he’s one of the best players I’ve seen in my life.”

Smith produced the moment of the tournament so far in Dublin last week, as he ended the near three-year wait for a Premier League nine-darter in a 7-5 victory over Daryl Gurney.

With back-to-back Premier League wins to his name, Smith heads into the contest full of confidence having defeated Van Gerwen at the Belgian Darts Championship on Sunday on his way to the final, where he lost out to Price.

“Michael’s the best player in the world and if he beats me, fair play,” Smith admitted. “I just want to keep picking up points and doing what I do.

“Just because I beat him last time out means nothing, I know he will want to get one back over me.

“Last week in Dublin was a magical moment for me, I still don’t have the words to describe it but moments like that are why we all play the game.”

Night Five will also see Nathan Aspinall look to continue his impressive start to Premier League life against World Champion Peter Wright, while Gurney will hope to end his winless run against last year’s runner-up Cross in a key contest.

The first nine nights of Premier League action will see a different Challenger in action, culminating in Judgement Night in Rotterdam on March 26 where the ninth-placed player will be eliminated.

Following Judgement Night, the remaining eight players meet once more in the remaining seven league nights in Belfast, Sheffield, Manchester, Berlin, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds.

The top four players then progress to face off for the title, and £250,000 top prize, in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 21.

Night Five will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

2020 Unibet Premier League
Night Five
Thursday March 5
Westpoint Exeter
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Gerwyn Price v Glen Durrant
Nathan Aspinall v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Luke Humphries
Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: SOLD OUT

Prize Fund
Winner £250,000
Runner-up £120,000
Semi-finalists £80,000
Fifth place£70,000
Sixth place £60,000
Seventh place £55,000
Eighth place £50,000
Ninth place £35,000
League winner bonus £25,000
Total £825,000

Wright Picks Up Hatrick at PDC Awards. MVG Named Player of the Year

Michael van Gerwen has been named PDC Player of the Year for a fifth consecutive year after the PDC Awards for 2019 were presented on Thursday.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN: PDC PLAYER OF THE YEAR for 2019.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

World number one Van Gerwen enjoyed another year of glittering success in 2019, picking up 14 titles including a fourth successive Premier League crown.

The Dutchman also retained his World Grand Prix and Masters titles, along with other televised triumphs at the Champions League of Darts, World Series of Darts Finals, Melbourne Darts Masters and NZ Darts Masters.

Van Gerwen, who celebrated his 30th birthday in 2019, also won the ProTour player of the year award in recognition of his consistency throughout the year away from the TV cameras.

Newly-crowned World Champion Peter Wright scooped a hat-trick of awards, including Televised Performance of the Year for his stunning victory over Van Gerwen to win the World Championship Final.

The popular Scot has also been recognised by fans and fellow-players alike for his achievements by winning the Fans’ Player of the Year and PDPA Players’ Player of the Year awards.

GLEN DURRANT-NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR for 2019.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

The Best Newcomer Award went to Glen Durrant, whose stellar first year in the PDC saw him reach the semi-finals of three televised events, including a memorable week in Blackpool at the World Matchplay.

Luke Humprhies was awarded Young Player of the Year after becoming World Youth Champion for the first time and reaching the World Championship Quarter-Finals for a second successive year.

Players who achieved a perfect leg in PDC tournaments during 2019 were recognised with places in the PDC Nine-Dart Club, with Van Gerwen’s televised perfect leg at the Players Championship Finals earning him a commemorative gold pin badge.

Silver pin badges are awarded to recognise the record-breaking 46 perfect legs hit away from the TV cameras on the PDC circuit last year.

2019 PDC Award Winners

Player of the Year
Winner:
Michael van Gerwen
Nominated: Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross

PDC ANNUAL AWARDS 2019 PETER WRIGHT-PDC FANS PLAYER OF THE YEAR,PDPA PLAYER OF THE YEAR,TV PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Fans’ Player of the Year
Winner: Peter Wright
Runner-up: Gerwyn Price

PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
Winner: 
Peter Wright
Runner-up: Gerwyn Price, Nathan Aspinall (joint-second)

Televised Performance of the Year
Winner: Peter Wright (World Championship Final v Michael van Gerwen)
Nominated: Gerwyn Price (Grand Slam of Darts Final v Peter Wright), Michael van Gerwen (World Grand Prix Final v Dave Chisnall), Glen Durrant (World Matchplay Last 16 v Michael van Gerwen)

Best Newcomer
Winner:
Glen Durrant
Nominated:Jamie Hughes, Darius Labanauskas, Jose De Sousa

Pro Tour Player of the Year
Winner: Michael van Gerwen
Nominated:Ian White, Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright

Young Player of the Year
Winner: Luke Humphries
Nominated: Ted Evetts, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Max Hopp

PDC Nine-Dart Club
Gold Pins: 
Michael van Gerwen
Silver Pins: Dave Chisnall (x3), Geert Nentjes (x3), Michael van Gerwen (x3), Gerwyn Price (x2), Ritchie Edhouse (x2), Ted Evetts (x2), Peter Jacques, Chris Dobey, Ricky Evans, Scott Baker, Danny Noppert, Brian Raman, James Wade, Mark McGeeney, Harry Ward, Callan Rydz, Steve Beaton, Geert De Vos, Michael Rasztovits, Robert Thornton, Madars Razma, Lourence Ilagan, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Andy Jenkins, Kyle Anderson, Boris Koltsov, Simon Preston, John Henderson, Matt Clark, Jose De Sousa, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Rob Cross, Ian White, Cody Harris, Mensur Suljovic James Beeton, Keane Barry.


Red Dragon Claim Unique World Champion Treble.

Welsh darting brand Red Dragon have a lot to shout about already. Major champions, innovative models and a solid reputation for service and value. Yesterday they moved to a new level. We pestered Red Dragon’s Simon Hall for his thoughts before the final took place:

With World Titles meaning so much to every player, and those behind them, the chance of three in one year is nothing short of breathtaking

Simon Hall – Red Dragon
Red Dragon’s World Champion.
PIC; PDC – PETER WRIGHT IN ACTION

With the crowning of Peter Wright, earlier this month, RD put the cherry on a long baked cake. Over the past decade they have developed a model and put together a group of players that rival anything seen previously. It results in World Champions!

Can Wayne Warren make it a rare double for the Welsh brand?

Wayne Warren lifting the BDO World Professional Championship gives the Bridgend based company a unique trio of World Champions. With Snakebite already holding the PDC crown and Luke Humphries capturing the World Youth title (PDC) it’s been a bumper few weeks. It may also make all the difference in the annual manufacturer rankings!

The RD model is not overly complex. The select their players carefully, work with them closely and stick with them for the long run.

A Celtic Flavour?

Success begins at home? – RD have a very good base of Welsh talent, but with Scots and more added!

In addition, to Warren, Red Dragon have Gerwyn Price, Johnny Clayton, Jamie Lewis and Barrie Bates all from their home pricipality of Wales. In addition, they boast a clutch of Scotsmen lead by Robert Thornton and backed up by John Henderson and Ross Montgomery. previous players include former world champ Richie Burnett. If you know sport you will understand that the Celtic passions work well in harness with sporting talent.

Multi Generational

Jamie Lewis
Jamie Lewis seems to have spent his whole life under the wing of RD?

Like all manufacturers RD have been keen to find and nuture young talent, they were the first sponsor for Adam Smith Neale, backed Richard North and have supported Jamie Lewis through thick and thin. But RD are not in thrall to youth. During the last decade they took considered risks on older, seasoned player who were coming on strong. Mark Hylton, Ian White and indeed, Wayne Warren were all in there forties or older when they were first signed up.

Back Your Decision

Those who make the decisions at RD seem to stick with them and are not afraid to throw the rule book out of the window if it may help a player or kick start a relationship. The Peter Wright story, and ever changing equipment, might have driven some companies over the edge. Instead Red Dragon have invented a totally new model for Peter and his sponsorship.

PDC UNICORN WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL- LUKE HUMPHRIES WINS

John Henderson has had ups and down as well as injury, Gerwyn Price has had much publicised disciplinary issues and Luke Humphries has well documented mental health concerns. Yet all are still with RD and have had multiple deals often renewed during tough times as well as good. This approach seems to allow players time and space to flourish at their own pace or to adapt to new circumstances.

Choose Wisely.

Initial signing decisions are a combination of analysis, external reports, observation and consultation. There is no fixed recipe for pursuing, or signing, a player but a number of differing factors can influence a decision. A good network of informative and reliable sources, very good data and carefully honed instincts all play a part.

Patience.

RD are not the sort who sign a player as soon as he/she does anything of note and then reject them if they don’t hit that high spot again instantly. Instead they take advice and are prepared to move earlier at times and be more long term in their thinking. This has occasionally seen them miss out rather than make an error.

A good example is David Evans. ‘Stretch‘ is a fine player with huge potential. Several of RD sources pointed him out a while ago. Yet, other sources recommended a step by step approach as that thought he needed time to develop and adapt. The last twelve months, and his recent World Championship efforts, suggests that they were correct.

Red Dragon’s collection of a threesome of World Champions means they have reaped the rewards of a program, and a belief, that dates back well over a decade. It would be a wise move to keep an eye on their future signings and those already on their books.

We’re so lucky to have these great players out there fighting to win & carrying the Red Dragon Name

Simon Hall of Red Dragon Darts

More than just luck Simon! In the meantime congratulations are in order! Well done indeed.

Challengers Announced – PDC Premier League Field Completed.

The nine Challengers who will feature in the opening nine nights of the 2020 Unibet Premier League have been confirmed.

DOBEY WILL JOIN FALLON SHERROCVK AS A ‘CHALLENGER’ IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE 2020
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG FALLON SHERROCK and CHRIS DOBEY IN ACTION

In a return to last year’s popular format, nine players will compete under the re-branded ‘Challengers‘ banner, with John Henderson and Fallon Sherrock already confirmed as guest players for the opening two nights.

Scottish crowd favourite Henderson is set to get the campaign off to a bang at the new P&J Live in Aberdeen, before history-maker Sherrock becomes the first woman to star in the Premier League in Nottingham.

Johnny Clayton will be at home in Cardiff.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

The Premier League roadshow then rolls on to Cardiff and Dublin where Welsh number two Jonny Clayton and Irish World Cup runner-up William O’Connor will make their Premier League debuts respectively.
 
World Youth Champion Luke Humphries will feature in Exeter, while Merseyside man Stephen Bunting will make his Premier League comeback in Liverpool.
 
Two-time televised semi-finalist Chris Dobey will hope to enjoy another memorable night in Newcastle, before Dutch duo Jeffrey de Zwaan and Jermaine Wattimena entertain the sea of orange in Rotterdam.
 
Points won by Challengers will not count towards the league table, however their opponents will retain any points gained from the matches. Challengers will receive financial bonuses for winning or drawing their matches.
 
Following the opening nine nights of fixtures, the player placed ninth on the Premier League table following Judgement Night in Rotterdam on March 26 will be eliminated from the competition.

The Magpie will be on home turf in Dublin.
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
WILLIAM O’CONNOR IN ACTION

The remaining eight players will then battle it out from Nights Ten to 16 in the race to win places in the Play-Offs at The O2 on Thursday May 21, with newly-crowned World Champion Peter Wright and world number one Michael van Gerwen among the regular nine players.
 
Fans in Belfast and Glasgow will also have the chance to welcome home local heroes in Daryl Gurney, Gary Anderson and Wright, while Gerwyn Price will entertain a passionate Welsh crowd in Cardiff.
 
Nathan Aspinall and Glen Durrant are the new additions to the Premier League line-up in 2020, while former finalists Rob Cross and Michael Smith are among the returning stars.

The 2020 Unibet Premier League will be played from February 6 – May 21 2020 at venues across Europe.

The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.

2020 Unibet Premier League field
Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross
Michael Smith
Gary Anderson
Daryl Gurney
Nathan Aspinall
Glen Durrant

PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
JERMAINE WATTIMENA – ADDS TO THE DUTCH CONTINGENT FOR ROTTERDAM!

2020 Unibet Premier League Challengers
John Henderson (Aberdeen, Night One)
Fallon Sherrock (Nottingham, Night Two)
Jonny Clayton (Cardiff, Night Three)
William O’Connor (Dublin, Night Four)
Luke Humphries (Exeter, Night Five)
Stephen Bunting (Liverpool, Night Six)
Chris Dobey (Newcastle, Night Seven)
Jeffrey de Zwaan (Rotterdam, Night Eight)
Jermaine Wattimena (Rotterdam, Night Nine)

ENDS