It comes around far too soon. It doesn’t feel like it was 12 months ago already, 12 months since Phil Taylor was knocked out by your school bully gone to seed , 12 months since they badgered an African guy to dance for the near-entirely white audience, 12 months since James Avery was so upset by the thought of Peter Wright in a major final he killed himself. But the World Championship of Darts, brought to you by Gambling Corporation, is here.
Very few sporting events put as much of a strain on the view that the Ally Pally does. To catch every single match in the tournament you’d need the stamina and social calendar of Aron Ralston. So you will miss matches. You’ll choose to avoid some. You’ll catch the end of games on a TV in a pub in your hometown. You just can’t do it all.
So we’re helping you out. Over the next few days, we’ll be profiling some of the foreign nation debutants at this year’s tournament. So you can see if it’s worth catching their early round match before Barry Hearn forces them to walk out to “Oppa Gangam Style” in a 4-0 loss to Justin Pipe.
Won the Soft Tip Qualifier in order to grab a place at the tournament. Darts Database doesn’t tell me who he beat in the final, but I’m going to assume it was Paul Lim because it always is. Kirchner’s face is the face of a man that is disappointed that the “Pawn Stars” gang are only offering him $4,000 for a baseball mitt signed by Ronald Reagan, but he’s taking it anyway as his son’s going to college. Among Scotty’s many claims is that he has won 20 World Titles in 20 years. This is because soft-tip offers at least seven different “world titles”, in such highly respected disciplines as 701, cricket and doubles cricket. Not gravity darts though, which is why America will always lag behind. Kirchner actually maintained a darts blog for a while back in 2012, and apparently found the process overly tiring and with little reward, leading to large breaks between each post and rushed content. Funny that.
Won the PDC World Russia qualifying event, which they probably initiated a while back thinking it’d help Anastasia Dobromyslova into the tournament each year. Not 100% sure that Koltsov is a real person, he sounds like the made up mid-game boss from a NES wrestling game. He has no social media presence, no website, and he may or may not be the same person as Boris Koltsov the Russian horror movie writer. Beat Ross Montgomery in a tournament match earlier this year though, BDO stay losing.
You know, like Sugar Ray. New Zealand qualifying section winner, beating the more traditional Kiwi jobber Rob Szabo back in the semi-finals. Born in Leeds, former county player for Essex, so will no doubt be exchanging anecdotes about who is the most Antipodean and shoving beetroot in their hamburgers with Paul Nicholson. Has Split Enz as a walk-on theme, which isn’t as guaranteed to confuse the average PDC audience member as Rowby-John Rodriguez’s choice of Fort Minor, but is pretty close. I’ve spent around 15 minutes reading through his Facebook feed and couldn’t find anything racist, but he is listed as a “fan” of Kasper Schmeichel, which is perhaps worse. Knocked out of the 2004 BDO Masters by Stephen Bunting.