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What a four days under the "full moon" above The Doncaster Dome. We look at the highs and lows!

The Ups and Downs of The Players Championship

Posted: 12.12.11 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

What a four days under the "full moon" above The Doncaster Dome. We look at the highs and lows!


The PDC Players Championship was fascinating and bizarre in equal measures. Sky does darts brilliantly but it’s great to have a change from the usual formula. There was a new “shout out the names of players” bloke but the “write down the scores on a giant piece of paper” blokes were the same. This eased the shock for some of the temporary switch to ITV4.

There was no “Dave” but we had Matt! His laid back approach was again a change from the exuberance from the usual face we see on Sky darts. We had Ned too, he can sleep easily knowing there is a career in kids TV waiting for him if the darts doesn’t work out such is his interview technique.

We had the “IceMan” and “Mace” instead of “Rodders” and Mardle, so no players played “brilliant” during the tournament! Alan Warriner-Little was full of puns as usual but we forgave him because when he wasn’t cracking his “terrible” one-liners he had something worth saying. He rarely uses anecdotes about himself or his career but takes an objective view of proceedings and dispenses an interesting insight into what is going on.

We also had the darting equivalent of a full moon shining over the venue, the Doncaster Dome. Four players were “put off” by the crowd shouting “miss” or such like as they were about to fire a crucial dart. The Power didn’t turn up for his interview as he was so incensed with the abuse he received. This put him up for ridicule and he was accused of being a “bad loser”.

However, when Wade then turned up for his interview all he could muster was to start  complaining that the “Corinthian spirit” of darts had been lost forever and that dart players should celebrate their fantastic skills with a “Bolatelli” style sulk instead of the natural exuberance that Scott Rand demonstrated. Maybe Phil’s decision not to turn up and have people guessing that he is a bad loser was smarter than Wade’s decision to show up and leave us in no doubt!

In the end though the “big boys” were sent packing and Wes Newton, Scott Rand, Mark Webster and Kevin Painter showed there was life away from the other “gang of four” who usually dominate the major events.

Going Up!

The Artist

Kevin Painter finally got his hands on a trophy and a PDC title. Well done to him!

Scott Rand/Justin Pipe

Two relative new boys who are both demonstrating that maybe the usual partnership for darting "success", darts and beers should be discarded if you want to make it to the top and darts and sports science needs a look at? Rand spent ages developing his “perfect darts” and Pipe is a perfect example of preparation, planning and the right mental approach to elite sport.


The darts “free” on TV was a “strap-line” of the week and why not? 

Going Down

A Few Rotten Apples

The intervention from a small minority of the crowd was most unwelcome. 

Post Match Interviews

Maybe some players could splash out on some media training or do a “Taylor” and leg it if someone mentions an interview.


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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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