“How to” and “B2E” difference

Good morning,  I reread how to master the sport of darts, then when I got B2E last Friday I read it.  I really liked the Wybmadiity section, especially the contrasts between the 2 books different players.  I am a little jealous of what appears to me to be a much higher level of camaraderie during the time when you were up and coming.  There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of personal mentoring going on any more(at least in the area I’m from).  I was wondering if you think that’s true or if I’m just not seeing it.  If it is true why do you think it is?  And do you think that it would help the level of competition here in the U.S.?  It just seemed really cool how in the first book all the same names kept popping up over and over.

  Still pounding away and enjoying it.  Thanks Again. Daniel

 Hoo Ray! Someone who gets why I did the interviews for WYBMADIITY differently for B2E. Thank you very much.

The life of a modern Pro darts player is what I wanted to come through, and you have it exactly right with “There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of personal mentoring going on any more.”   I believe some of that is still around but not nearly as much.

My take on why this change has two points:

Those in “How To” were from the same neighborhood as far as country wide goes. We were from the northeast section (PA, NJ, MA) pretty much, and shared the same banter kind of attitude. One- ups- manship was part and parcel of competition. We could smile as we needled each other but the smile barely covered the intimidation attempt. This was another competition we shared and if you watch for it, you’ll see it even now. Plus we were all learning about the new English style of darts so had that in common.

Point number two: We were all just trying to recover the money it cost to attend tournaments so the money wasn’t such a deal that friendships would be over ridden. After the day’s competition, attending tournaments was more like a weekend away at a party, visiting cities new to us and meeting people new to us. We were interested in helping others learn the game and for the game/sport to grow but at tournaments that attitude only hung around until it came to later rounds and we would meet other “names” in matches. Everyone got a real case of the ‘serious’ then. Most of the time the early rounds still had local people in them who were enjoying meeting and being around the “names” and they didn’t present much of a threat.

Tournaments became longer and an endurance test which made it much more difficult to stay up after tournament activity, which is part of the reason the party mentality had to subside.

American tournaments pretty much are the same as then except there aren’t people ready for some ‘action’ between or after tournament matches. That was another way to recover some cost. Of course it could increase the cost too 🙁 . Long after the day’s events ended you could find some people back on corner boards quietly trying to make airfare.

Today’s pros, and those striving to be one, are in an all together different situation. Money is the thing; it’s how they make their living. Don’t get me wrong here, people are the same as those in “How To” when they are playing locally, in league or tournament. They will offer hints and tips to those who they do not view as very strong competitors but will not say or do anything that will strengthen someone who is after the same cash. That goes for sponsorship too. Money from top finishes is still split among some of these folks and that comes from the stark reality of prize amounts vs costs. And the top people who attend tournaments throughout the US still arrange for partners who will give them the best opportunity to get the cash, same as it was back in the day.

I still have a concern for the American style tournaments being held now as I had back in the day. At first the tournaments were well attended by local players eager to be around the “names” and play against them with the occasional couple of bucks they might pickup, mostly from the LOD or mixed doubles. As the cost of attending the tournament rose the fact that these local people stood about a zero chance of winning any money, the view of the “name” person shifted. We became the people who were taking all the money and the locals were just contributing to us. That’s when attendance began falling and a lot of the tournaments began failing.

What you’ve noted: the difference between “How To” and B2E is what prompted me to write B2E and “Beginning the Sport of Darts,” my first booklet: the desire to help as many people learn and have more fun at our game/sport as I can. And now Flight School is filling my time with even greater gratification. 

Thanks for your comments and interest in my work. Your friend in darts, George S.

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