RED DRAGON 12 weeks game improvement course.

Discussion in 'Practice, Strategy & Technique' started by bulldozer, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Hi just another update on my progress with the darts... last Wednesday I played last years singles champion from the sisal board in the Portimao area of the Algarve Portugal and I won 2 zip just as in my first 2 matches. I am still not happy that I am throwing my best darts and in all 3 matches in the last 3 weeks I have thrown either different darts or a different setup.
    15 years ago I had some darts made to my specifications, just over 5 mm thick and totally smooth barrels, I dug them out and gave them a shot today and I hit 11 x 180s with them in practice with the very tiny taylor flights in them.
    It looks like game number 4 next wednesday I will be using yet another darts setup lol.
    VanO likes this.
  2. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    Too funny! Nice results though. Sounds like you might be the next a Peter Wright. He did similar during the premier league.
    Good luck!
    bulldozer likes this.
  3. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    I played my 4th match last Wednesday, with my new latest set up, I played rubbish and partly as I felt the darts slipping a bit on release in the very hot environment that we played the match in. The grooveless barrels were a huge part of the problem and after dropping the first game somehow I managed to still go on to win 2 to 1 as I did hit my doubles. I summoned a 140 from nowhere and took out the 46 that was left.

    I have another set of darts that a friend in Calgary Alberta Canada bought for me 12 years ago they are Halex darts with a bit of grip that are very similar to the grooveless ones that I used last week and I have been playing around with them and have set them up with short stems and the narrow coalcracker flights and I am playing the best darts that I have ever played in my life with them, he he.

    On Wednesday I will be playing match number 5 with this new set up and I am confident that I have found and fine tuned my perfect set of darts. I just hit 3 bulls in one throw in practice and I have been testing them in a very hot practice room and they do not slip, so I feel confident with them.

    Time will tell but it has been great fun trying different darts and set ups with different flights until I could clearly see that a dart that weighs 20 grams, 50 mm long straight barrel and centre balanced just a little over 6 mm thick, with the old style ring grip in the middle of the barrel where I grip it was best suited to my natural throw.

    The Red Dragon darts course has helped me to grade the darts and the way I have been performing with them in the series of tests and practice.

    The Taylor, Lowe style darts were good but I felt as though I were trying to fit my throw to suit the darts, the Beaton darts were good too but the front loading sometimes dipped at the last second and the longer stems that I had to use to stop this happening caused me to turn the dart inside to my right on my pull back before throwing and the last darts I used with the smooth barrels were almost perfect apart from the slipping.

    I will probably get rid of all the other darts and put the Beatons in a frame as they were Steves actually used darts on stage. I aim to play my best darts this Halloween night.
  4. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    It sounds like you’re getting everything tuned up. Now it will become a matter of trust so that you can fully commit to the darts, their kit and your stroke. Good luck at that and in Wednesday’s match!
  5. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    Hi dozer! Just checking in since we hadn’t heard much from you in a while. Hope all is well!
    bulldozer and Erik like this.
  6. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Hi VanO, sorry I have not been online here for a few weeks, I have posted a couple of things about soft tip darts on Dartsnutz in that time but I have been busy playing and practising my darts.

    My game has definitely improved, my scoring is better and my finishing which was always pretty good has improved too. I have played 9 matches now and I have won 8 of them, and the last 4 matches my game seems to have really come together.
    I changed my darts for the final time 4 games ago for a set of One80 R2 John Michael deadly Rose darts (they have the spring steel points) and I have hit numerous 140s and 2 x 180s in the last 4 games and they add up to only 9 legs played as it is only best of 3 (so anything can happen). My finishing has been solid so I am very pleased.

    I love the soft tip game now too as I like the fact that you can play against people all over the world, and my club asked me if I wanted to join their soft tip league too so I did and this began 4 weeks ago and I played in the last 3 matches.
    We are only in a small league that consists of 6 teams from all over Portugal and it is a doubles competition, you see each other on the web cam. Soft tip is great as we get to play 12 matches so plenty of darts instead of the best of just3 legs, I personally play better the longer that I play.

    Doubles especially Cricket doubles is tough sometimes as you can not score until your partner has closed the number as well as you and in 501 you can get frozen out from gong for your finishing shot attempt which has been annoying, lol. below is a link to the small soft tip doubles contest we are in on the classification page.

    Not sure if you can view it unless you are a Radikal darts member though. We are Pinheiro team and I am Bulldozer

    I started playing soft tip 4 weeks ago and enjoyed it so much that I bought a board from Hidarts in Spain and on this board you can play people from all over the world that own the same board.
    The build quality of this board is fantastic and it is even better than the radikal darts commercial boards that we use down at the darts club and it links to your laptop via a USB cable or via wi fi connection to an android device.

    Back to steel tips, My team is in 7th place out of 14 in the league and our A team is in 2nd place in the same league, I was personally in 4th or 5th place in the leagues order of merit until this week, just behind the leaders (that I hope to catch before seasons end) for singles competition but I have not played quite as many matches as them as we have a big team and it is only fair that everyone gets a chance in the singles when we play what we can see is a weaker side.

    I sat out last week and this week from the singles so I may have dropped a place or 2 by not playing, but no big deal.
    below is a link to the league, we are PinheiroB and I am KevinB
    Sisal Inter-Casas Portimão - Standings

    Mondays we practise as a team, Tuesdays its soft tip and wednesdays it is Steel tip, so the wife is well pleased (not) Lol.
    I hope to get some online soft tip in from home today this afternoon. I just found the perfect soft tip darts in a set of power8zero target darts, they have a slight scallop in the barrel and a micro grip there.

    I played quite well this Tuesday on my 3rd ever soft tip outing and the team and I sit in 2nd place in the classification for this small soft tip contest, we have what looks like the 2 weakest teams to play in our next 2 games but we must not be complacent, if we wish to win this league.
    Thats a full update of my darting progress and its great as when I am not playing darts I am watching darts as the PDC world championship is under way as you will know. Rob Cross was brilliant against Dezwaa, MVG is always a likely winner and Gerwen Price could spring a surprise, Ryan Joyce was impressive against Whitlock last nghttime will tell who wins but its fun watching.
    I wish all of the members a great Christmas and a Happy darting New Year.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
    Erik likes this.
  7. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Thanks for the update. I've played against players in Portugal on a G3 board once or twice when I was shooting softtips. It was a great time but clear they did not play much American Cricket! Point early, point often:D
    bulldozer likes this.
  8. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    Good for you dozer! Having fun and camaraderie is a really great deal! Glad you are doing well and playing well! Keep up the good work!
    bulldozer likes this.
  9. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Hi Erik It depends who you play, there are lots of different soft tip leagues all over Portugal on the in Bar Radical darts machines and there are some very good tactical players in many organised leagues, soft tip is huge here and in Spain.

    I personally prefer to close quickly in cricket and as long as I am ahead on points even if only slightly keep closing and making threat frames.
    If I go behind then close and score on another number until I am in front on points and then shut down any threat frames as soon as I can to stop my opponent scoring again.

    I do not get into a points war unless I have to,I would prefer cut throat Cricket in multiple player games as then it forces a more attacking game rather than pointing. I will join a singles soft tip league in the near future as then I am in control of what I want to do in my own game.
    I am enjoying the soft tip more than the steel tip as the games are longer in Soft tip and more diverse as you can play against anyone anywhere. Darts is great fun fullstop though and I love to play both formats.
    VanO likes this.
  10. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    I used to play that way ;) until I began playing on the tournament circuit and learned that 9 marks were common enough that being slightly up on points meant 100pts :D
  11. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    I didn’t play in tournament circuits but players in our Connecticut league were strong enough that I used to count it in bulls and 4 was my number. I guess yours and my strategies were/are the same!
  12. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    The thing is it depends how well you start a leg of cricket, a white horse start makes things easier to control the game and to keep attacking. Then if the opposition begins to try and point on a lower treble you get back in front asap and then keep closing.
    Doubles with a partner in cricket is a whole different story though as both of you have to close the same number before you can score and you wait ages between shots.
    You can also be in a position where you have closed everything and have to just watch as there is nothing for you to score on or close, while you are a spectator to the other 3 players trying to finish the game
  13. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    But....I 9 mark response on the 17 means you MUST respond in kind and puts the pressure on. You opponent has run up 102 points and has the 17 to battle you on and maybe likes it. You now HAVE to hit two T20's to take the lead back and to remove the pressure hit a T17. Tough shot after a Whitehorse (T20,T19,T18).

    Whereas, a T20, T20, T19 sets the tone and establishes a clear lead with pressure on the other guy. In fact, it takes a 9 mark to overcome just 5 20's on opening. Consider that a T20, S20,S20 gives you 40 points and the 20 to through at which should be comfortable for any 501 shooter and means your opponent MUST hit a T19, T19, T20 to take control of the game.
    bulldozer and VanO like this.
  14. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    That’s old school strategy and it usually works. I only differ in that my partner always suggested I take the t18 if I mad 2 t20s opening.
    bulldozer likes this.
  15. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Yes I agree that you should always try to retake a points lead or at least get closer on points before closing threat frames or making threat frames, but I try not to get into a points war in the first place.
    If I start the game then I personally try to open with T20, T19,T18 because that is more advantageous than T20,T20,T20 and T20,T19,S19 is more advantageous than T20,T20,S20. I need 1 dart to shut down my opponent and he needs 3 to stop me from scoring in example 1 and 2 darts to stop me scoring in example 2.

    Presumably both players are of an even standard so it stands to reason that scoring on 20s or 19s or 18s is better than scoring on 17s or 16s or 15s.and if you have 2 or more threat frames that you can score on and your opponent only has 1, then he is at a disadvantage.
    The main thing here is that Both players are of an even standard, any player will lose 9 times out of 10 if their opponent is a far superior player no matter what tactics are used.

    Cricket can be a complex tactical game but for me, I am personally in favour of attacking to close frames rather than get into a long points war but sometimes it can not be avoided.
    So whenever level on points or leading I try to close threat frames and if I complete that I try to open more frames for me to score in.
    If I am behind on points then I will try to get ahead on points , then close threat frames to stop my opponent scoring more and if I complete that then I try to open some more frames for me to score in.
    Sometimes the opponent will be better than me or playing better than me so then in that case I have had it anyway, lol.

    The way that I have said is the way that I try to play in Singles Cricket and it is the same in the Doubles Cricket that we play here, as nobody can score until both team mates have closed a number so for example going 1st for your team withT20,T20,T20 would b 2 wasted darts as the first dart would close the 20s and the other 2 would score nothing.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  16. VanO

    VanO Moderator Site Moderator

    Truthfully what’s most important is to play in a way that makes sense to you and allows you to feel confident and relaxed. This is a game where those things are paramount to all else IMO.
    bulldozer likes this.
  17. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    Yes and No.

    Sometimes we have to learn that what is comfortable, or what makes sense, isn't and doesn't in certain environments.

    I used to play a fast closing game in Cricket however when I began to compete I began to learn that was not a winning strategy and I played to win -- every time. I'll admit that.

    In big tournaments the better players, indeed the Top players, never played nice, never played to quickly close and NEVER backed off. I knew I could match them dart for dart, I was, but I lost.

    I cannot stress my point above, well enough, and few seem to realize what I'm really saying. I think it Frank Pratt who coined the phrase 'Thermo Nuclear Cricket' and that was a LONG time ago but his strategies and the reasons why have been long discussed and read about and to this day cannot be beat. In fact, the only way to actually beat this type of play, is to play BETTER than the opponent and therein lies the key. If we are equally matched, dart for dart I will win more than lose with the above. Period. It's proven fact. You simply cannot overcome a 5 mark 20 opening with a 5 mark 19 opening -- think about that. But YOU CAN match a Whitehorse with a Whitehorse. PERIOD.

    If I 9 mark the 20's on the other hand (and I've watched John Part, Peter Manley and others do just that) you cannot match me. Best bet is you come within 3 points of me andleave me the option to close your 19 and raise you another 120 points. If we throw 9mpr from that point on you lose. But here is the kicker: I don't have to but you do.

    Consider: I hit T20,T20,T20 (120pts)
    You hit T19,T19,T19 (114pts to 120pts)
    I hit T20, T19,S20-- (114pts to 200pts)
    You hit T18, T18,T18-- (222ptsto 200pts)
    I hit S20, S20, T18 and I am back in the lead (222pts to 240pts).
    You hit T17, T17, T20 (273pts to 240pts)
    I hit T16, T16, T17 and I'm again in the lead (273pts to288pts)
    You hit T15,T15,T16 (318pts to 288pts)
    I hit DB, DB, SB -- I take the lead again (318pts to 338pts)
    You now MUST hit T15, DB, SB to finish the game - D15 DB SB or I suppose DB DB to win. Either way, you have to have a final MPR score of 8+MPR and all I shot was 7mpr

    There was no time that you could miss a single dart unless you call the SB amiss. Meanwhile, if you missed the final bull(s) I have 3 darts in hand to hit T15, SB SB for the win.

    Again, I don't have to hit 9MPR to win but you do (until the bull anyway). No one does or will under that scenario I might add but it illustrates a point. And honestly, my game right there? I've done it, more than once. I have, however, NEVER shot over 8MPR in steel tips or soft in cricket. Even a 9 dart cricket is 7mpr --see my point and I've done that more times than I can remember? A perfect game (8 darts) 7.875mpr -- I have never hit an 8 dart game.
  18. Erik

    Erik Site Owner Staff Member Site Admin Site Moderator

    OH and once I adopted the above? I won :D
  19. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Whoever throws first has the biggest advantage and I still believe that having more real estate in a game of cricket or more places to score is advantageous between 2 players of equal ability both playing as well as each other.

    The person with all his eggs in one basket scoring on one number is easily shut down and if he has a poor throw just once he is under huge pressure. Your theory obviously works for you and what I describe is so far working for me. At the end of the day if you can hit what you aim at then you will win more than you lose I will let you know how I am getting on.

    I have had a few online games with my hi darts board and some of the guys I played played both ways and so far I am winning more than I am losing. The computer on expert level offline is a tough opponent thogh as it regularly shoots over 8 marks per round.
    I win around one game in 5 or 6 games on this level provided that i throw first and then i have mark over 6 marks per round.

    If I try to score by pummelling a number against it to elongate the game, then I have already lost and I have found that hitting almost everything out of the gate and going first is my biggest advantage and shooting over 6 mpr sometimes is exhilarating but I am under constant pressure to win.

    The level below Expert is Advanced level but I have that in my pocket as 3.6 to 4.5 mpr usually beats it. I dare not try the top level which is the Master level yet as if Expert is regularly above 8 mpr then Master must be almost perfect mpr every time and I am not yet ready for that challenge Lol
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  20. bulldozer

    bulldozer Member

    Hi Eric. I already said that going 1st is the biggest advantage, if you match white horse you are still behind as I have the darts still, if 2 guys throw perfect darts then the guy who goes first wins every single time.
    In your example after you hit 3 x T20 and I follow with 3xT19s, If you then go on to hit T20 T19.S20 then I would hopefully hit T18 T18 T20 and if I did then the points would be 200 to you but you are shut down and I have 168pts but 20,19,and 18.are closed to you and I can score on 18 still.
    You are under pressure to close either try and close stop me scoring and then close and score on 17s or open and score on 17s.
    Remembering that you went first which is the biggest advantage in any game of 501 or Cricket if you are not perfect with your throw, then I am scoring on 18 while you are scoring on 17s.
    So let's say you blindly score again by hitting T17 T17 T17 you now have 302 pts but I go T18T18T18 and I have 330pts and my real estate scores more than yours.

    I reiterate that Going first is the biggest advantage any player can have but shutting down an opponent at the right time to stop taking onboard further scoring damage can be agood policy rather than blindly pummelling a scoring number and pointing.

    It seems that even the experts disagree on the perfect Cricket strategy because in Opposition to Frank Pratt, George Silberzahn in his book DARTS Beginning to End recommends not getting into a points war and that closing as fast as you are able is best while keeping a check on the opponents scoring.
    If 1 player is supremely better than the other player then tactics do not matter anyway as they will lose nearly every time but maths and the law of averages says that having more areas to score in is better than having all of your eggs in 1 basket as you are easier to shut down.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018

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