With the PDC European Q-School coming up our associate Jacoo Krook has asked some dartsfans, who could be regarded as experts, to offer their insights for previewing this event. For this first preview he selected Czech Republic and Poland as the most upcoming countries and therefore I gave them a separate section.
Poland If one thinks about an expert about Polish darts, Franky Pol is probably one of the most suggested names. That’s why I’ve asked him which 2 Polish players he would name to win a tourcard. Franky answered: ‘’Really difficult question in my opinion. I mean obviously Kanik is the big hope to get his Tourcard back you know. But then I would say either Steyer or Kciuk is the other big hope or maybe even Sawicki who lives in England. Białecki(16 years old) is there to get more confidence and I am convinced that he will play the Development tour which would be awesome.’’
If we look at the other experts picking a Polish player to win a PDC tour card it will probably be Sebastian Steyer or Krzysztof Kciuk. As Jacopo Ghirardon points out: ‘’From Poland I think Steyer it’s the best player over there not having a card and he’s a serious player so he can go for it’’ High Roller Radio says: ‘’I’ll say Krzysztof Kciuk. I’ve seen him put in some solid performances and on ‘Any Given Sunday’ who knows?’’ Andrew Sinclair admits: ‘’Sebastian Steyer and Krysztof Kciuk are better known, but I’ll tip Luaksz Sawicki. He has continued to improve and he’s a veteran of local English tournaments.’’ While Dan Hutchinson gives Tytus Kanik, who held a PDC tour card in 2018 and 2019, a good chance as well. Kanik is the favourite of Faria Darts Index as well. Martin Hawkins will pick Krzysztof Kciuk despite knowing ‘’Lukasz Sawicki has been doing well in some of the opens around the UK’’……
Mario Vandenbogaerde became first victor at the O2 Indigo as he defeated Sebatian Steyer in straight sets in the opening match of the afternoon session. After being pushed to a decider in set one, it was plane sailing for the Belgian as former World Trophy semi-finalist Steyer failed to find his scoring game.
Justin Thompson was second to secure is place in round two as he defeated World Championship debutant Scott Williams. The Aussie ace lost out to Michael Unterbuchner in the 2019 iteration of the tournament, but got off the mark this time around with a routine 3-0 victory over Williams.
In the women’s competition it was a winning start for Corrine Hammond as she banished her first round blues from the previous two years. Despite a rapid start from Cheshire based Pruim, Hammond turned the tie on its head as she claims the opening set.
The second would be much more comfortable as the pressure got to the Swedish born thrower, a succession of heavy scores, putting Hammond through to round two for the first time since 2017.
Beau Greaves produced the story of the evening, as she became the youngest female winner on a BDO World Championship stage, defeating Tori Kewish in two sets. The South Yorkshire star has impressed on the BDO senior tour in 2019, but blew away a sold out 02 Indigo on her television debut.
In arguably the match of the opening day, Dave Parletti pushed the Netherlands’ Chris Landman all the way in their opening encounter in central London.
Landman had landed a magnificent 170 checkout as he strolled into a 2-0 lead, but despite having darts for the match, Parletti would show superb grit to pull level. But the Surrey thrower wouldn’t have enough left in the tank as Landman powered through to the next round.
The oceanic theme continued with the appearance of New Zealand’s Darren Herewini, the Kiwi had captured the attention with his World Cup singles victory earlier in the year, and continued his good form on the Indigo stage.
Thibault Tricole and Jim Williams were the final two names to be added to the winners list on day one at the O2 Indigo. French first-timer Tricole was pushed into a sudden death leg by Ross Montgomery, but came up with the goods at the crucial moments. It was a similar story as tournament favourite Williams and Scottish international Stone pushed us into overtime, with Williams coming away victorious.
Mario Vandenbogaerde 3-0 Sebastian Steyer Justin Thompson 3-0 Scott Williams Corrine Hammond 2-0 Vicky Pruim Chris Landman 3-2 Dave Parletti
Darren Herewini 3-1 Simon Stainton Beau Greaves 2-0 Tori Kewish Thibault Tricole 3-2 Ross Montgomery Jim Williams 3-2 Gary Stone
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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