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Five things to get ready for the PDC U.S. Masters Darts tournament

Updated July 13, 2017 - 1:22 pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s that time of the year again when Robin takes off for his monthlong family trip to Europe. His travels this week take him to La Spezia close to the beautiful Cinque Terre area of Italy. Then Saturday, he’ll wind up, as usual, in Italy exploring the delights of Tuscany. In his absence, a great number of showbiz entertainers, celebrity VIPs, chefs, restaurateurs and our Vegas dignitaries have stepped forward to write their guest columns.

In advance of tomorrow’s (July 13) US Masters of Darts world championships at the Tropicana, chief executive Matthew Porter runs down all the details of the misunderstood sport.

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For the first time since 2010, the Professional Darts Corp. is bringing the U.S. Masters at the Tropicana July 13-15. Eight North American qualifiers will face eight of the best international professionals for a chance to earn the title of U.S. Darts Master. The top North American qualifier will also earn a place in the 2018 World Championships in London.

Spectators unfamiliar with the world of darts will discover an exciting, unpredictable fan atmosphere, but becoming familiar with how the game of darts is played and some common darts terminology, will allow for an even more enjoyable U.S. Masters darts experience. Here are five things you should know about darts 501 and the PDC U.S. Masters.

What is the PDC?

PDC is the world’s largest darts organization, formed out of the United Kingdom in 1992. It has become the leading professional body in the dart world and promotes huge tournaments worldwide. The PDC is constantly looking for bigger and better ways to improve the sport of darts.

Name of the Game

The game of darts played in the PDC U.S. Masters is the most traditional, 501. The two players start with 501 points, and the object of the game is to reach exactly zero points before your opponent with the fewest throws possible.

Terms to know

• Oche – The line behind which the throwing player needs to stand; 7 feet, nine-and-one quarter inches from the face of the dartboard.

• Leg – A leg is one game, or round, of a match – similar to tennis. The player who wins the most legs wins the match. In some cases, a predetermined number of legs comprises a set; the winner of the most sets wins the match. The U.S. Masters will be played to the best of 11 legs (first to six).

• Scud – A scud occurs when a player misses their target but hit another number that earned them a mark (point).

• Robin Hood – This occurs when a player throws their dart into the back of another dart on the board. It sticks and the player will earn zero points.

• Treble – This is the thin, inner ring surrounding the bull’s-eye, also known as triple, which has a value of three times the number segment on the board hit. The treble 20 is the most valuable space on the dartboard.

• Bed – The section of a number on a dartboard is referred to as the bed. If a player throws “three in a bed,” they threw all three darts in the same section of the same number.

• Nine-darter – A nine-dart game means a player completed a game of 501 with the minimum of the possible nine throws.

The Fans

Extravagant, fun, and creative outfits have become a tradition at darts’ largest tournaments. Fans have dressed as Hulk Hogan, Santa Clause and even Shrek. Some crowds have been known to sing and chant at PDC events. Some people believe it is for the players or to distract their opponents, others believe it is a drunken roar or an actual reaction to the game. Whatever the reason, it is to be expected.

The Atmosphere

If you’ve never attended a darts competition before, the atmosphere is similar to a UFC or WWE fight. Each competitor gets his own walk-out song, strobe lights and a long introduction with an emcee booming their accomplishments into a microphone as the competitor struts to the stage. Not what you think of when you imagine darts, is it?

Tickets to the U.S. Masters Darts tournament are available online at troplv.com.

Be sure to check out our other guest column today (July 12) by Maksim Chmerkovskiy of “Dancing with the Stars” who has opened his dance studio in Summerlin and was married on July 8to his TV co-star Petra Murgatroyd.

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