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Article: The Week in Darts by Red Dragon

The Week in Darts by Red Dragon

Recession, depression, doom and gloom, everywhere but the world of darts it seems. The sporting phenomenon of the last 5 years shows no sign of slowing down. With record advance ticket sales for the 2010 PDC World Championship and the 12,000 capacity O2 Arena penciled in as one of the venues for the 2010 Premier League darts is one of the few areas of life which is escaping the clutches of the recession - now who would have thought that? With ticket sales also ticking along very nicely on the BDO side of the darting fence for both the Winmau Masters and Lakeside Championship tournaments, darts can feel very pleased with itself as it enters the second decade of the new millennium.

The majority of big-time darts has been played overseas in the last week. With Geordie-born adopted Aussie, Paul ^The Asset^ Nicholson scooping the Australian Open Players Championship in Sydney. Boasting a combo of some snappy threads that make Rod Harrington in his pomp look like a brickie^s laborer and a cocky swagger to his step, aligned to some pretty mean tungsten tickling - he could be a dark-horse over the forthcoming months and also be in the frame for a Premier League wildcard come 2010 - watch this space !

A big week for Winmau sponsored darts legend Dennis Priestley as he retained the Canadian Players Championship. With a number of the PDC big guns - notably Taylor, Wade and van Barneveld missing, The Mexborough based Menace availed himself to earn the 5,000 pounds winner’s cheque after overcoming Wes Newton 6-2 in the final. The PDC road show will stay on the North American side of the pond for the following weekend with Atlanta Players Championship and PDC US Open played this forthcoming weekend.

Whilst the game is booming in the UK it would appear it is a tougher sell in the USA. After 2 years at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, the US Open heads south for a new venue - The Holiday Inn in Atlanta. The smaller less glamorous sounding venue suggesting that darts is struggling to make the impact it would like in North America and with the future of the LVDC the subject of much speculation, one wonders how long the PDC hierarchy will keep trying to crack the American market. There is talk of other more potentially lucrative areas for the PDC to have a crack at - notably China, time will tell, but one wonders if the game will ever really make it Stateside. It could be that darts is like Robbie Williams - very big in the UK, massive in Stoke but a bit of a mystery to Uncle Sam and family in the States.

A great week for another ^golden oldie^ in Ronnie ^The Rocket^ Baxter who has secured a provisional ranking place which would see him return to the Premier League of darts after a 4 year absence. After a sticky couple of years, ^The Rocket^ has been in excellent form for much of 2009 and with his bubbly personality and ^boom boom^ rapid-fire approach to the game, he will no doubt be something of a crowd favourite when darts very own travelling circus kicks off again in 2010.

On the BDO front - great wins for Scotland^s John Henderson and Deta Hedman at the Belgium Open. The burly Scotsman has done his hopes of making the Lakeside Championship no harm, whilst Deta continues her great form after a break from big-time ladies darts. On this form she will take some beating in both the Winmau Ladies Masters next month, as well as the Lakeside Ladies World Championship.

The Men^s version of the Masters - which enters its 37th year, is a more open looking tournament. No 1 seed Tony ^Silverback^ O^Shea looks to have a great chance, whilst those qualifying for the tournament include darts very own Mr. Glitter - Bobby George. Another interesting name amongst the qualifiers is that of Magnus Caris. The Swede of course played Bobby in one of the Lakeside^s most memorable matches in the 1994 semi-final. At 4-2 down ^The Bobby Dazzler^ looked to be on his way home, before winning an incredible 9 legs on the spin to win the game 5-4. His famous celebratory leap at the end of the game leaving him needing surgery to repair broken bones in his back !

Two names that darts fans across the globe will delighted to see at the Masters qualifiers will be that of Les Wallace and Shaun Greatbatch. Les - the 1997 Lakeside Champion has battled with numerous personal problems in along spell away from the oche but remains a popular figure in the game, whilst Shaun has been bravely battling a form of cancer of the last 18 months. The guard of honour and round of applause he received at the Lakeside earlier in the year left not a dry eye in the house. It^s testament to Shaun^s battling qualities that he has continued playing darts throughout much of his illness problems and it would be fantastic to see him make the final stages of the tournament when it shown on BBC television.

Finally for darts fans looking for another kick they could do worse than to visit The online gaming firm are sponsoring a number of leading professional players and are looking to also give darts fans a few treats as well. A number of their online poker tournaments feature leading professional players in the line up and darts fans can gain ^bounty bonuses^ for knocking the stars offthe oche of the tournament. A recent competition saw a 200 euro ^bounty^ placed on the head of PDC legend Peter ^One Dart^ Manley. Rumors that Phil Taylor was behind the move were however unfounded - visit for more details.

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Darts Results

Swedish Open results. Played 16/08/2009.Willy van de Wiel defeated Anders Astrom to win the final.Supplied by Darts Database

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HULL - THE NEW STOKE-ON-TRENT? By Rob Finch Darts true voice.

The capital of the darting world for many years has unquestionably been Stoke-on-Trent and its surrounding areas. Not only has it been home and host to a certain Philip Douglas Taylor for nigh on ...

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