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Aidan is at the World Grand Prix and trying to discover what is the winning formula for this tournament!

Aidan's Dublin Diary - Baxter, Newton and Whitlock

Posted: 06.10.13 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Aidan is at the World Grand Prix and trying to discover what is the winning formula for this tournament!

Aidan Farrelly will be chatting exclusively for the Darts Performance Centre with the winners from each Round One tie in this year’s PartyPoker World Grand Prix in Dublin. We want to know how each player approaches the treacherous double start competition, how they compose their nerves, and any other performance related tips along the way.

Ronnie Baxter, Wes Newton and Simon Whitlock all managed to come through their first round encounters on the opening night in Dublin, with some performing more convincingly than others.

Ronnie Baxter

And it was Baxter who was first up, against Colin Lloyd. There was a lot to be considered when weighing up a winning Baxter average of 78. That’s not the kind of average we are used to seeing on the PDC Circuit, however when we scurry past the cliché, it really was the result that mattered here. It was the first game in the tournament, the nerves had both players off target, and Baxter had failed to get past the First Round in Dublin for six years.

 “I practice with Wes Newton, we practice together. He just lives down the road from me. We’ve been practising 301 double in double out lately, just getting used to setting off with a double.

“Nerves are a huge factor on a night like this. I was first in and didn’t want to be first out. I am delighted to win, even with a 78 average. When you take in to account the missed doubles I had to get going in some legs, that’s not too bad of an average.

“When you have missed doubles to start, you can’t let it get in to your head. You have to carry on. Its history and you can’t change it. If you’ve missed the doubles, you just have to carry on. It takes years of experience to get that.

“I was hitting the treble, scoring a couple of 180s, but then you can lose it again just as quick. That’s the way it goes. That’s darts.”

Wes Newton

Wes Newton had a tough task in his opening round encounter, as he ran up against the high flying Peter Wright. Wright has enjoyed a lot of success in recent Tour events, although has yet to fully display his multi-colour talents on the major stage as of yet. Newton’s philosophy for this tournament is intriguing to say the least.

“I look forward to this tournament. It’s a major tournament. You have to deal with it and prepare for it. You know it’s coming up, and the format is different to what we are used to so we prepare for that.

“I was more nervous there than usual against Peter. There are no easy draws, and it’s a really short format. It was important to win the first set and kick on from there.

“I have been practicing 301 double start with Ronnie [Baxter], which I think is the perfect warm up for this.

“If your opponent gets off and you don’t, you’re chasing for the whole leg. The key is just to get off within your first three darts. If you get off first dart its brilliant.

“When you have the darts you have to get off straight away, or else your giving the darts back to you opponent. It’s hard because you can have a good leg, break your opponent and then go up and miss your first three darts in the next leg.”

Simon Whitlock

Mickey Mansell will remember this night very clearly indeed. It’s rare anyone has the opportunity to rue missed darts at doubles to beat “the” Simon Whitlock in Round One of any tournament. Alas, a thrilling breakthrough TV performance from Mansell will undoubtedly instil barrels of confidence, and at this time of year that could be priceless.

The Wizard needed all his magic tricks and spells to come through against Mansell, and was under no illusions following this battle of just how close he came to a first round exit. Whitlock is renowned for practising doubles, but faces a difficult conundrum whilst preparing for the Grand Prix.

“All I do is practice on my doubles. The trouble with me is that I like every double, and I don’t know what one to start off with.

“I’m not confident starting on 20’s. I couldn’t give up during that game. I tried to relax, but it was very hard. Mansell and that double 19 were incredible. He kept punishing me.

“Mickey Mansell played absolutely brilliant there. He kept hitting that double 19. I was lucky to get away with that game.

“I will relax now. I’ll have to forget about that game now and get ready to move on to the next one.”

Darts Performance Centre Analysis

There was some interesting feedback from Baxter and Newton on their practice plan which was to play double in 301 to get them in the mood for the Dublin experience. We love a bit of deep thinking in darts but would question why the 301 start?

Realistic practice is the best and you obviously start on 501 during the actual tournament. My feeling is that starting on 301 may lull the player who gets away quickly in to a false sense of security. For example we saw several examples last night of the “hare and the tortoise” effect as the player who took 6 or 9 darts to get off the mark come back to win the leg. This is unlikely to happen in a game of 301 and this could drag some complacency into their game. This is because in "real life" there are an extra 200 points to be scored before claiming the leg.

Whitlock has solved his own problem with his interview with Aidan. He needs to stick with two doubles and get some consistency on them. I commented that last night it looked like he was playing  a private game of round the clock doubles! He was lucky to survive with his first round starting double strategy and needs to amend it if he is going to progress!

You can find Aidan's chat with Nicholson and Taylor here!


Meet Aidan

Aidan has been a fan of darts since a young age, although he didn't pick up his first set if arrows until he was 23. In that time, Aidan has been dedicated to finding out what it takes to become a professional. He plays with two club teams in his County in Ireland.

Aidan documents his ups and downs of improving his game, and explores some of the unknown, yet crucial elements of darts such as nerves, confidence and much much more.


Aidan teamed up with the Darts Performance Centre ahead of his battle with Raymond van Barneveld 12 months ago, a relationship which he admits has "helped me to focus on certain areas that needed improvement, and the support from Paul and Andy guarantees will make you a better dart player".

Aidan throws a 23g DPC Elite Performance dart. He loves to tell people that he has now lost count of the amount of 180s he has thrown. His highest checkout in a competitive leg is 130, and the closest he has come to a perfect leg was two maximums before crippling under pressure to finish out with a 15 dart leg.


His plan is simple: to be a Pro! Follow his journey right here!

Aidan welcomes any feedback, advice or questions. You can find him on twitter:

@A_Farrelly or email: throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com

Author: Aidan Farrelly ( throwlikeaprodarts@gmail.com )

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