David DePriest Interview


David DePriest appeared in the World Series of Darts on ESPN recently. Here is an introduction to David DePriest from his David DePriest site:
David DePriest, now 32 years of age, has been involved in darts for almost 23 years. Starting at only 9 years old he was one of the pioneers of youth darts in America. He has won dozens on National Singles titles, and has been a United States All-Star on two separate occasions. This three time Michigan State Darts Champion is now setting his sights on International events. He will appear on ESPN competing in the World Series of Darts starting July 18th 2006.
We appreciate David taking the time to answer our questions as he starts a new darts circuit and prepares for the National Championships the weekend of August 12th to 13th 2006.

21ace - TheEMan
1. Have you made the perfect game yet, 501 and out in 9 darts?

David DePriest
Yes, I have had two perfect 501 games in practice. The first came when I was 16 years old. The second came some years later again on the practice board. So far though the best I have had in tournament competition is 10 darts.

21ace - TheEMan
2. How many hours a day do you practice?

David DePriest
Until the World Series of Darts was announced I would practice just a few hours a week. Leading up to the World Series of Darts I ramped up my practice to 3-4 hours a day on average. With some weeks averaging in the 8-10 hour a day range.

21ace - TheEMan
3. How often do you hit 180?

David DePriest
It is hard to judge the frequency of 180's in practice because I practice so many other things then just the 20 wedge. On a typical day its not uncommon to hit ten to twenty 180's in a practice session.

21ace - TheEMan
4. What kind of Darts do you use, Weight , thickness, brand etc etc?

David DePriest
I use a Unicorn 23gram Golden Barry Twomlow signature dart. The barrel is made from 90/10 tungsten/nickle alloy and coated with titanium. I have used this dart exclusively for the past 9years. Unfortunately, this dart is retired from production. Currently I am making plans on designing my own signature dart which will be somewhat similar.

21ace - TheEMan
5. What kind of money do we talk about in Pro Darts?

David DePriest
So far this year the leading money winner stands at over $366,000.00. Obviously with a one million dollar prize to an American winner for the World Series of Darts the money is growing. Already this year it has been announced that the over prize pool on the professional circuit will double next year. Sadly, in American we rarely get to compete for such prizes and the ability to play full time professionally is diminished. But hopefully that is changing for the better now.

21ace - TheEMan
6. Have you been to Sweden for any Dart Tournaments?

David DePriest
No I have never travelled abroad to any tournament to date. However, I have just qualified for the National Finals to compete for a spot on the USA's World Cup Team next year. So if I can have a good showing in October I will be headed to Holland in 2007.

21ace - TheEMan
7. Have you ever played against Stefan Lord, if you did? how did you do in that game?

David DePriest
No, unfortunately I never had the opportunity to compete against Stefan.

21ace
8. Watching the competition I got the feel that darts is kind of like soccer in that it seems to be more popular in England than in the US. What changes do you think would help make darts more popular in the US?

David DePriest
Darts is more popular as a spectator sport in the UK. Because the American audience isn't entirely familiar to the game, the presentation needs to be focused on players personalities.

21ace
9. Did the ESPN cameras make a difference? Were the cameras concealed or were they out in the open? If they were out in the open were they intimidating?

David DePriest
The cameras were very visible. Personally, I didn't notice them much while playing. But in the back of your mind there is always that pressure to do well when playing on television. For many of the Americans in the tournament the lack of television experience did show in their performances. It was a different environment for us.

21ace
10. ESPN did a lot of editing where entire legs were skipped. I played in Event #2 of the World Series of Poker this year and noticed editing in that as well. For example, they didn't get the first "start" right for the cameras so about 20 minutes into the tournament they did a second "start" for the cameras in which the announcer did his thing for the cameras. Do you think ESPN did too much editing in the World Series of Darts or was it about right considering the time constraints?

David DePriest
It is hard to judge. For dart enthusiasts showing more actual dart play would have been preferred. But for your average American I think its important to give a good introduction and education on the game. Time constraints come into play as well. All told, there were hundreds of hours of footage shot and only so much air time to tell the story. I think they did a good job, though I think the production may have had better impact if more qualifier event footage and character development had been included.

21ace
11. We cover various tricks here at 21ace. What tricks are there (if any) that can be performed with darts?

David DePriest
Dart players are a bit touchy on "trick shots". Because darts can be dangerous if misused you don't see a lot of tricks attempted. Some pros will perform some stunts in exhibitions. Feats such as using 10penny nails to hit doubles or impale a button from a persons hand have been done. Along with more simple tricks of throwing without flights, hitting a cigarette from someone's mouth, and throwing from a kneeling or sitting position.

21ace - DanTheMan
12. Please tell us about your signature "sneer of concentration". When did it start? How does it help?

David DePriest
I first became aware of my sneer about 3 years ago while being taped at a local tournament finals. Its something I do without noticing similar to Michael Jordan sticking his tongue out while shooting a basketball. I try to remain very aggressive while playing and perhaps the face is a manifestation of that aspect. I'm not sure if the sneer helps, but I do believe being aggressive has worked for me thus far.

21ace
13. Favorite pub for darts? favorite restaurant, favorite song, anything else you want to share with us?

David DePriest
I play a lot of darts at a local venue called Westwood at the Crossing here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I'm very lucky to have the support of my peers. I guess if there is one thing I wanted to share about darts its the brotherhood and closeness of the community. I have travelled across the country over many years playing darts. And I can say without a doubt dart players are some of the most open and friendly people I could ever have hoped to meet.

21ace thanks David for taking some time to answer our questions. Please visit his David DePriest site to learn more about David and the world of professional darts.