The Great White Blog

Las Vegas Player's Championship and Las Vegas Desert Classic - June 30, July 2, 2009

Heading into this tournament, I was putting in lots of practice having already qualified to the TV stage of the Desert Classic.

I decided to go in Sunday evening during the Monday qualifier.  My practice sessions where horrible going into this and I was not coming in a very confident mode.  I have done this before and managed to find my way once I got into the dart hall.  Monday morning, I made my way over to the dart hall to cheer on the North Americans trying to qualify on the last day of the qualifiers.  Sad to say, none were able to get through.

Tuesday morning I made my way to Gary Mawson's room to practice.  To be honest I was looking at this shoot as a confidence builder for the big stage more than anything else.  About 11:45, we made our way down to the hall to check our boards.  I saw I had to play Neil Dickson in the preliminary round but I also saw that American greats John Kuczynski and Darin Young were on my board.  Also, non other than the greatest dart player ever, Phil Taylor was on my board.  After getting through my first round - 6-1.  I had to once again play the far-and-away #1 American player, Darin Young.  I raced out to a 4-2 lead only to miss 6 darts at a double for 5-2 and watched Darin come back to beat me 6-4.  Darin went on to lose 6-2 to Phil Taylor but to be honest, he deserved better as he could have been up 3-1 if not for a couple of doubles.

Tuesday night we all went to the Banquet for the draw where I found out I would be second up on Thursday playing Andy Hamilton.

On Wednesday I went and watched most of the darts including good buddies, John Part and Scotty Burnett play each other last on.  Wednesday night was an early night.  I got up early Thursday morning knowing I would be playing second on.  After a quick bite, I was back to my room to start practicing.  I have to admit I was pretty happy with the draw.  I was starting to get my confidence going.

I played well on Tuesday and I had played Andy before at the US Open going down to the last set and nearly winning it 3-1.  My plan was to practice in the room for an hour or so, go register and head up to Gary's room for more practicing before going to the player's lounge for the last hour  push.  Warm-up went about as good as I could have hoped.  I was really pounding the triples well and feeling great.  When I won the bull, I was feeling even better.

I don't have to tell you what happened up on stage cause I still really don't know.  I played like an utter piece of dirt and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I never really found my focus which I found totally weird because last time I played on the big stage, I found it no problem to focus on the board but just couldn't hit a double.  Anyway congrats and well played to Andy.