The darts world as we know it is coming to an end
The darts world will never be the same. The darts world as we know it is coming to an end. These are some of the words that epitomize some of the feelings expressed after Benjamin Dersch of Janesville, Wisconsin, a predominately soft-tip darts player did the unthinkable and won both the 501 and Cricket singles events at the steel tip darts event known as the Las Vegas Open.
The Las Vegas Open has been around for a very long time. This year marked the 38th annual event, which for all you math geniuses, that means it started in 1979. Benjamin Dersch was 1.5 years old. I have attended this tournament for more years than I care to mention after doing that math. However, I do recall in 2003, the doubles team of Chris White and John Kramer won both open doubles events that weekend and it was noted that this was the first time since the start of the tournament in 1979 that this had been accomplished. It has since been repeated by the team of John Part and Dan Olson. But nowhere in the record books is it written, that I and many others are aware of, that one player has gone and won both men’s singles events until this past weekend with Ben’s wins. To me, this is the surprising part! Out of all the incredible players that have attended the event in previous years, this feat has not been done before. Even with the likes of players in attendance such as 3 time World Champion John Part. Multiple PDC top players such as Wes Newton, Simon Whitlock and Ritchie Burnett have all been in attendance at the Las Vegas Open. The tournament has been home to the Cricket National Championships for over 10 years now, which invites many of the top elite steel tip players in America to compete. Yet, with all these well known, top players in attendance year after year, the feat has never been completed. So why is it a big deal? Is it simply because Ben is primarily a soft-tip darts player? Obviously a darts player needs some sort of skill and/or talent to be able to compete at the levels that Ben has competed at in the soft-tip darts world. So why is it such a surprise to see someone who has skill and talent go out and win a couple singles events in steel tip? Would it be any different if a predominantly steel tip player were to go out and win a huge soft-tip event? Well, we all know that has been done and seems to be not such a big deal after all. Or was it because Ben won the Friday night LOD too? That has to be it!
But hey, guess what else happened that no one else seems to be talking about? Ben now has an invite to compete at the World Masters over in England later this year. And if he can really make his mark there, he could possibly get an invite to compete for a spot at Lakeside. And for those that don’t know…..that’s the BDO World Championships! And it’s all steel tip…imagine that!