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Players Championship 2

I
didn't really feel refreshed when I woke up on Sunday morning - probably an
effect of the Dublin maritime climate. The sky looked grey and the wind was
stronger. The breakfast room seemed to be even farer away then the day before
and it was quite full. Not only the Players Championships took place there - a
conference was going on as well.
I decided to cancel my morning walk and
did the updates on my site till it was time for the tournament.

Tomas
Seyler once again was a "lucky guy" as this time he was drawn against Michael
van Gerwen. Tomas didn't manage to get into his stride and Mighty Mike only
had a real opponent in the very last leg of the one-sided match.
I've no
idea in what form van Gerwen will turn up in the World Grand Prix. He somehow
managed to smuggle himself into the semi-finals of the day but seemed not
really to be focused and most of the time occupied to cough and to pull up his
socks.

I just in time arrived at Bernd Roith's match against the to
me unknown Chris Skeates. Bernd played a good match and got a clear win but
afterwards said that though it was a so called "non-name" player he really had
to give all.

As such a lot was going on I first couldn't decide which
match to watch but in the end settled at Mark Webster against Michael
Barnard. To be sure none of the players played his best. Barnard once was a
promising youth player but never really established himself with the seniors.
Both players threw a few 140s - most other scores were less than 100 points.

Then it was already time for Jyhan Artut against Reece Robinson. The
young player with the nice nickname "Sugar" can be dangerous but is still not
very consistent and often has problems to finish a leg. So Artut not really had
a problem to prevail.

When the match was over at a board nearby the
match between Justin Pipe and John Henderson started. It was an odd...
Players Championship 1
This year again I travelled to Dublin to follow the
two Players Championships and the first two days of the World Grand Prix live.
And again I stay at the City West Hotel but this year in another wing which
feels like around two km away from the breakfast room which was on Saturday
morning filled with darts players. The Huybrechts brothers breakfasted
together as did Raymond van Barneveld with his wife. Mark Dudbridge sat
together with Steve Brown, Jamie Lewis with Arron Monk only to mention a few
names. After the breakfast I first went shopping - it was sunny but very windy
outside.
When I arrived in
the venue the draw had already taken place. I had a view at the score board
and found out that Germans Tomas Seyler and Jyhan Artut had hit the jackpot -
they had been drawn against one another. I had another view at the room which
showed me only Bernd Roith the third German player who would play Kevin McDine
was there. Finally when the first matches were already played Tomas Seyler
appeared jaded in the room. As he told me he was supposed to write one of
those first matches but had totally underestimated the distances in the hotel.
He was lucky he was not excluded from the tournament for being late. Probably
he was accommodated in the same hotel wing as I...

The match between
Bernd Roith and Kevin McDine was a very close affair. In the last leg unluckily
the scoring power seemed to have left Bernd and he lost 5:6.While I waited for
the other German match to begin I watched Simon Whitlock almost throw a
nine-darter at the other end of the room.

The match between Jyhan and
Tomas had no clear favourite - the scores were quite similar. But Tomas was
much better finishing and he threw four 180s while Jyhan didn't throw a single
one so Tomas win was a fair result.

I had a short look at the two
finish players Jarkko Komula and Jani Haavisto....
The ‘fact’ that darts was exported
to America on board The Mayflower in 1620 is probably
the most repeated piece of darts history you will ever read or
hear.

The Myth

It is so simple and so succinct. Just
image the scenario. English folks who love playing darts were
persecuted for their religious beliefs, flee the country by boat to
find a new life in the New World and, quite naturally of course, take
England’s Number One pub recreation with them on board, namely
darts.
For a long time this ‘fact’ has
been accepted as legitimate darts history, so much so that it appears
regularly in pub quizzes.

Question: “What English game was
taken to America on The Mayflower in 1620?”

Answer: “Darts.”

Real answer? Well, it was definitely
not darts.

The passengers on board The
Mayflower
were Puritans who detested everything and anything to
do with alcohol and the alehouse. Thus there was no way they would
ever promote such an activity. Their religious doctrine simply did
not allow it. Darts was contrary to everything they stood for.

Imagine the Captain of The Mayflower
locking up his house as he prepared to leave England for the last
time, then, tapping his top pocket, pausing and turning to his
betrothed and saying, “Forsooth my love. I have lefteth my darts in
myst bedside table. Please goeth and retrieveth them for me.”

Those responsible

A darts book published in the late
1960s started it all. The author wrote, ‘It has been said that the
Pilgrim Fathers amused themselves by playing darts aboard the
Mayflower in the year 1620.’ By the late 1970s, the myth was
appearing in darts books whenever the history of the sport was
mentioned. One volume published in America recalled ‘…there are
references, in the Mayflower’s logs, to darts as a pastime...
It's often asked by up and coming tournament players (who are faced with the ever increasing cost of travel and the limited opportunity to earn said costs back at events): how do I get a sponsor?

My main response usually centers around this theme:

Don't ask "how do I get a sponsor" but rather "how can I sell your products?".
You see the entire purpose of sponsoring a player is to sell something unless of course you find that rare being who just wants to toss money your way (or perhaps a family member or friend). Take this site for example: why would anyone pay top put their name on the site if it didn't sell darts (and be sure after reading this to click those links and see what they have to offer please!)? Answer: they wouldn't.

The idea is really simple: capitalism works so think like a capitalist.

What? Yes, think about it from the perspective of someone trying to make money. Why sponsor you? The answer isn't "I win" because lots of people win, but rather the answer must be "I sell".

If someone can afford to offer you hundreds of dollars in sponsorship then you must be able to sell enough of their products that they earn back hundreds (if not thousands) in profits. Otherwise it's a negative sum game and no business survives by NOT making money.

As a sponsored player you become, in essence, an ambassador for that company which means that through your efforts alone you must SELL SELL SELL!

If, for example, I were to sponsor someone it would have to be the kind of person who would promote SEWA-Darts.com SO WELL that the traffic would increase (bear in mind I still get up to and over ONE MILLION hits a month) to a point that my advertisers would be willing to pay more to advertise on the site (these days it barely covers the cost of my server and pipeline). Can you do that? Can you be so motivated and dedicated and professional that even after a stinging defeat at the oche you could still send THOUSANDS of people to this site EVERY DAY?

That, my friends,...

It was sunny again on the last day of the UK Open. The breakfast-pub was much
more crowded than the days before and Adrian Lewis had cleared off into a quiet
corner but was all the time interrupted by fans.

I took another walk -
as I had learned the day before that not only the UK Open take place here in
Horwich but that the cycle and the running route of Ironman UK for some years
already go through Horwich as well. At the round-about outside the hotel there
usually is a refreshment station. The map I found on internet was not good
enough to really identify the routes but it was a pleasant walk nevertheless.

In the reebok everybody wondered who would win the tournament. Michael
van Gerwen still was the favorite especially after Phil Taylor had some
problems against Brendan Dolan the day before. And there of course were Raymond
van Barneveld, James Wade and Adrian Lewis still in the hunt. Hamilton, Baxter
and Wright were more thought of as the underdogs. But those underdogs proved to
be quite strong in the quarterfinals!

Raymond van Barneveld was in trouble against Ronnie Baxter in the first
quarterfinal. The Dutch had dominated in the beginning but then Baxter showed
that he didn't intend to give in easily and won five Legs in a row to lead. Now
van Barneveld was in a tight spot!! In the deciding leg Baxter had a matchdart
and missed. Raymond van Barneveld stumbled over the finishing line first and
stood in the semi-finals.

Then Andy Hamilton played against James Wade and again it was the underdog who
was way out in front after he had overcome his initial difficulties. Hamilton
just finished better and so Hamilton was the second player to reach the
semifinals.

Next on was the much anticipated match between Phil Taylor
and Michael van Gerwen. Till the five all it was head to head but then despite
his similarly high...