There is more money to be won in New Zealand Darts now than I can remember in a long time. The opportunity is there with the prize money offered in New Zealand Dart Council events, the Mad On Darts tour, the Western Bay Singles, Clubs NZ Island and Nationals tournaments and Dart Players NZ Grand Prix circuit. If you were a male player good enough to win all the singles events then you would make close to 30 thousand dollars.
The Mad on Darts tour have 10 singles events with a $1000 first prize to give $10,000. The New Zealand Dart Council offer 11 open singles events with an average of about $900 which is $9,900, the Western Bay singles offer $3000 first prize and Dart Players New Zealand offer 8 Grand Prix singles at $500 to make $4000, Club NZ Nationals and Islands singles events might add another $1600. It all comes to $28,500. Throw in all the pairs and mixed pair titles and few of the exhibition type events like the Bank Classic and potential earnings for someone who never lost would be between $40 and $50 thousand dollars. Expenses with travel, accommodation and entry fees would probably chew through half.
Of course winning events opens the door to international opportunities which in turn pays more again.
The money in the womens events is probably half. A good lady player who won everything should go past $10,000 and might get to $20,000 before expenses.
It might be interesting to work out which NZ male and NZ female player in any given year won the most money.
This year Warren Parry will make his fourth appearance at a PDC world darts championship when he plays in the preliminary round against Jerry Hendriks on Friday December 16th. He if he wins he will go onto play world number 3 Peter Wright later that same evening in the first game of the main round. No New Zealander has ever won the first game in the main round so if Warren can beat Wright he will make history for NZ darts.
Warren’s other appearances have been in;
2006 where he lost to Mark Walsh 3 – 0 in the first round.
2008 where he lost to Alex Roy 3 – 2 in the first round.
2010 where he lost to Raymond van Barneveld 3 – 0 in the first round.
Warren has won more world and NZ ranked tournaments staged in NZ than any other male NZ player. Internationally amongst other things he has come runner up in a World Cup singles and beaten world number 1 Michael Van Gerwen at the Sydney masters.
The TAB are offering $501 for every dollar bet on Warren if he wins the World Championship. Most pundits do not expect him to get past Wright in that first round.
At his very best he could win that match but he has to be at his very best.
From the 19th to 22nd January 2017 the PDC will hold their qualifying school at Wigan. Players who win or accumulate enough points over the 4 days earn a PDC tour card and can play as one of 128 players on the PDC professional dart circuit.
The only New Zealander to ever play in the school was Jack Harrington of the Richmond Working Mens Club, Christchurch. He went to England with his father Dave and mother Jane in December 2012 to support Dave who had qualified to play in the 2013 PDC worlds darts championship. Dave was knocked out in the preliminary round and Jack stayed and played in the qualifying school. He did not do well enough to get a tour card but is still the only New Zealander to try.
The pictures above show Jack after winning a Club NZ Youth title and the second shows Jack and his father Dave after Jack successfully trained his first winning horse in his chosen occupation of horse trainer.
I would love to see another top kiwi have a go but I am not sure it is going to happen. Not this year anyway. Most of our top players have families, jobs and other responsibilities which would make it hard financially to initially go to England and try and if successful in getting a tour card then commit to a life where missing a double could mean no food on the table.
Some commentators put the cost once you get to England at about $25,000 pound a year in just travel, accommodation and entries into tournaments. If you have not got a sponsor or you are not winning you will not last long.
Have we got players that could potentially make it? You bet we have. However just like we all know some super players in the different towns and cities around New Zealand who could succeed nationally but do not because they never travel the same applies internationally. Some players could make but will not take the risk.
One day someone will make the gamble and go for it. More power to them when they do it.