Last night we had the inaugural playing of the Dolce Vita Invitational Dart Tournament. And I think by all accounts it was very successful. We had invited 20 players, and 12 showed up. That was my goal as a minimum. We had invited the top ten finishers from the Arctic and Indian Divisions, and wound up with six players from each, so that made a nice balance. Seung Youb showed up too late to play and Craig (the top seed) had a conflict and couldn’t make it, so that was disappointing. I was also sorry that Cake Mix, the Arctic Division champions, did not have a representative in the tourney. Next time guys!
The concept of the tourney was to have the best of the B/C divisions play head-to-head for bragging rights. And to give us something to do on a Monday night between seasons. But mostly, it was an excuse to get some dedicated darters together for some camaraderie, competition, and fun. I’m quite certain we achieved each of those objectives. I was especially happy to see that all three of the invited females competed. Anyone who knows Kyung Mi, Becky and Natalie would not be surprised that they came to play and were not intimidated by all the testosterone in the room.
Anyway, the format was a blind draw, double elimination, singles tourney. YJ, owner of Dolce, generously kicked W100,000 into the pot, which gave us a W220,000 purse. We had all four boards in play and quite a few spectators which made for a full house.
Here’s how the bracket went:
Round 1: (winners in BOLD)
Kyung Mi (M&M) v. Colin (Blessed Bulls)
Max (Alley Ratz) v. John (Take it Easy)
Jesse (Dawg Pound) v. Natalie (Survivors)
Paul (Dawg Pound) v. Brian (B Team)
Bye: Greg (Eberhardt), Dennis (Eberhardt), Chris (Alley Ratz)
Greg v. Colin
John v. Becky
Dennis v. Jesse
Brian v. Chris
Round 3: (Winners Bracket)
Greg v. John
Dennis v. Chris
Natalie v. Colin
Paul v. Becky
Kyung Mi v. Jesse
Max v. Brian
Colin v. Becky
Kyung Mi v. Max
Chris v. Colin
Greg v. Max
Round 4: (Winners Bracket)
John v. Dennis
Colin v. Greg
Dennis v. Colin
John v. Dennis
Dennis v. John
Yep, I managed to take first place. But it was a struggle. I was throwing some of my best darts of the year, and I needed everything I had to stay alive. I had some classic battles with Max and Greg and I was fortunate to come out of them victorious. One dart either way would have changed the outcome.
If you will indulge me, I want to talk about my games with Dennis. First of all, Dennis is a great guy and a true gentlemen from the Philippines. I’m not sure how long he has been playing, but this was the first year he was in the league. Damn, he is good. With Craig’s absence, he was the top seed in the tourney. And he will kill you with triples. Always tough to beat, but when he is on he will destroy you. I took him 2-1 in our only match during the regular season and he tells me that was the only singles match he lost all year.
In our first game last night, I took him to school in cricket. Whenever he left a number open, I would pound him for points. I think that threw him off his game just enough for me to get the win. He came back to take a close ’01 game, then it was back to cricket. We had a back and forth game (he was killing me on my open 17s, hitting a triple 3 times in a row. I was answering with 4 and 5 marks on 16s). We went to the bulls with me up on points, but less than a bull. I started with one bull. He answered with three. I stepped up to the oche and threw a double bull to close, and then another double bull for the win. Dennis was stunned, and to be honest, so was I.
So, as I expected would be the case, Dennis came up through the losers bracket to meet me again. He apparently took the cricket lesson I had given him in our first match to heart. He opened with seven 20s, putting me down 80 points out of the box. And he never let up. I would use three darts to close a number, he would close by hitting a triple and then pointing me on my open 20s with the next darts. He was determined not to let me back into the game, which is exactly the way cricket is supposed to be played. After he completed my destruction in cricket, we moved on to ’01. Although it was much closer (we both exchanged a couple of ton-20s) he got the out and the match.
As you might imagine, he was pretty excited. Until I reminded him that he had to beat me again for the championship. That was my first loss in a double elimination tourney.
Dennis took the diddle, called cricket, and did the seven 20s thing again. I answered with five 19s, and the battle was joined. Frankly, I don’t recall just how I managed to do it, but I overcame the deficit and wound up winning the leg. I know I was pretty amazed by the outcome and I imagine Dennis was a little crushed. I owned the ’01 leg that followed, throwing a ton to open, a couple of 60s, a ton-21, a ton, and then my out for the win. (You can tell it was late and all the beer I had consumed was kicking in because the details are definitely fuzzy).
Anyway, I had a great night and it was especially satisfying to defeat some players I really respect.
I also need to mention that Colin was playing some really outstanding darts as well. I’m glad I didn’t have to face him last night. He was seeded 9th and took 3rd, so that tells you that he had to beat some great players to finish in the money. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Well done!
Here’s the final standings:
1st: Yours truly
5th: Tie-Max and Chris
7th: Tie-Kyung Mi and Becky
9th: Tie-Brian, Jesse, Paul, Natalie
As I said at the beginning of the tournament, everyone there was invited because they are a winner. Last night was the reward for excellent play all season long. Our plan is to make the Dolce Vita Invitational a regular event that the top players look forward to with anticipation.
Here’s some photos from last night:
Four of the twelve participants (L-R) Dennis, John, Becky, Natalie
Money winners, Dennis, John, and Colin. Kinda like the Olympics: Canada bronze, Philippines silver, USA gold. This time anyway!
Colin takes home W30,000 and a big smile.
Dennis is W60,000 richer and no doubt plotting his revenge for the next time we meet.
Nothing beats the thrill of victory, but W130,000 comes close! Thanks to Jim for hosting the tourney, keeping everything on track, and being a big supporter of darts in Itaewon.
I can’t help but wonder how many people actually made it to the end of this post. If you did, leave a comment. I want to know if someone out there actually reads my long winded dart reports. Thanks!