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    Team SEWA :: View topic - Can North American players compete?
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    Can North American players compete?

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    Joined: Jun 1, 2003
    Posts: 9853
    Location: Moses Lake WA

    PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:50 am    Post subject: Can North American players compete? Reply with quote

    I've been thinking allot about last weekends big event in Vegas and keep coming back to the same conclusion: Yes! North American dart players have what it takes to compete with the very best in the world.

    However, I think the problem here is both distance (we've discussed this before) and money.

    Distance: To travel to Pennsylvania to play in the open there I'd have to spend literally an entire day, about $500 in airfare, another $300 in hotels and roughly $150 in food. Not to mention entrance fees. So we're talking over $1000 to enter a major event back east plus two days of traveling (which means time off work).

    Money: Looking at some of the events I could make it to with a $1000 travel allowance and I can see, for example, the USA Darts Classic with a payout for men's singles 501, 1st place, of a paltry $800.

    Now think about that. $800? The very best dart players from all over the US will be there so even if you are one of the top 8 players in the nation you simply cannot expect to take first every time. You can at least argue that you should make the top 8 most of the time, maybe all the time but lets look at that payout: It breaks down to $800, $400, $200 and $100

    So making Top 8 in both singles events means you would earn $175 (cricket pays less) ($100 in 501 and $75 in Cricket). If you took a Top 8 finish in all men's events you'd earn just under $500.

    I think when you take a hard look at those numbers, based on a $20,000 tournament (which is one of only a handful that high) then it becomes clear that unless you are local, or well off, then playing these events is purely a hobby for you.

    Now let's consider the format at these events. They typically run 'Best of 3' matches though I see USA Darts Classic is best of 5 in the top 64 and best of 7 after that but to compete in matches where the match standard is best of 7 SETS (not legs) and sets are best of 7 legs you can see that to go the distance against the worlds best you neither have the money incentive to play better, nor the experience of long duration matches to keep the standard up.

    Sure we have great dart players, sure they can hit 9 darters even, but they just don't have the same thing riding on the line for them. It isn't as if you're flying back east, or the the west coast to play for $50,000 first place prizes. Not even $10,000 first places. The highest 1st place prize I've seen (not including the recent Vegas event) is $1000.

    It's not like you can quit your $75,000 a year job to go play darts and actually expect to earn that kind of money even if you are a Darin Young, Johnny K or whomever the top US player or Canadian players are today,. The money just isn't there.

    I believe to get to that level of play you need long formats, an audience and a lot of money at stake. After all, losing in a tournament in which you might have made a grand in, isn't the same as losing in an event that you might have earned $10,000 in! And THAT puts stress on the players, forces them to work harder to get better and take the game very seriously.

    I started my desire to compete on a higher level because of the Lucky Lite Strike tournaments back in the 80's that offered payouts of $50,000! It was serious money and in my opinion the hay day of American darts. Want to compete with the best players in the world? Bring back $50k+ tournaments. By the way, $50k in 1985 had the spending power of $110K today.

    Imagine what a dozen $110,000 dart tournaments would do to North American darts today?
    Erik K. McVay
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