Interview with Scott Waites

Scott Waites, the reigning BDO World Champion, won quite a lot of big tournaments in his career. His first Major tournament win of all thing achieved with the competing organization - he won the PDC Grand Slam of Darts in 2010.
Already in 2008 he had taken part in another PDC tournament - he had qualified by the pub qualifiers for the UK Open and reached the last 32 where he lost to Ronnie Baxter.
By now Waites won all the big and many of the smaller BDO/WDF tournaments and to be sure this year again is one of the contenders for the BDO World Championship title.

You took part till now in every Grand Slam - do you like the tournament?

I really like the tournament. It's always been good to me - and the crowd was good to me as well!

Most tournaments are Knockout format - is the round robin format for you just a change?

I like the round-robin format. The Knock-out is brutal - either you take your chance or you are out of the tournament. Here you have three matches and three chances.

Is there a rivalry between the players of the two organisations?

No - not at all. We all get well on here in Wolverhampton. And as soon as I am on stage it doesn't matter at all for me whom I play.

Of course every time when you play the Grand Slam always the question pops up whether you will not switch to the PDC .

There is no chance at all. I like it just much better to play in the BDO. Playing there is much more like me - playing darts with friends in the pub, have a drink, have some fun. I prefer it to play for fun and not just for the money.

Last January you won the BDO World Championship - did it change you live?

Well not really though I of course always wanted to win that title.

Which title was more important for you - the World Champion title or the Grand Slam title?

That is a difficult question. I think the Grand Slam title was harder to win but the BDO World Champion Title is what every dart player longs to win - and I was not different.

After the World Championship one didn't hear much about you - beside the win of the Dutch Open.

That's true. I won the Dutch Open and I stood in the semi-finals of the Isle of Man Open. But I just didn't play a lot of tournaments in 2013 but I played quite a lot of exhibitions.

Are you by now a full time Pro?

No - I still work full time as a carpenter. I don't earn my living with playing darts.

Do you find the time at all to practice?

No, not really. But I still play league and country.

Would you say that's some kind of practice too?

Oh yes, one can take it for that.

And what about the exhibitions?

I wouldn't think it's practice. But I like exhibitions. I like to talk to people and like to mix with people. And I like to show my tricks!

You show tricks?

Oh yes. For example I throw my darts backwards.

What darts do you play?

Those are Winmau Scott Waites Darts.

Is it after an own design?

No - I am not such a darts guru. Some time ago my then girlfriend threw all my darts on the garage roof and those are the only ones which survived. Since then I play with them.

One can read you started to play BDO in 2004? But that's not when you started to play darts or?

I started to play BDO in 2004 that's true. But I played youth in league and country before that - but not in the BDO.

It looks to me the number of upcoming talents in the sport in England is decreasing.

That's true. I think one of the reasons is that playing the complete circuit is just too expensive. Not only in the PDC but in the BDO too. We in the BDO to be sure have lower registration fees for the tournaments but all the other costs are the same and one will need 10 000 pound at the minimum for one year.

Recently several PDC and BDO players started to take part in the Dartslive electronic darts competitions in Asia. Stephen Bunting was quite successful! Is electronic darts something you are interested in yourself?

Oh yes, I certainly am interested in it. I even had intended to partner with Stephen Bunting. I really would have liked to play.

Can you imagine soft-darts could have a future in the UK?

I can't imagine at all. I think people here are too much used that playing darts is for free. They wouldn't accept they suddenly have to pay for it.

What are your ideas about the future of the BDO? Has it a future at all?

Well - there are new people responsible for it now and I know who those people are. But till now it didn't get better. It looks to me it even got worse as darts is less and less on TV.

Do you by chance knew the new WDF president and have any ideas about his plans?

There is a new WDF president? I didn't know - I have no idea about this at all. To be honest what really does the WDF for us?

I thought might be you met him when you were in Canada for the World Cup..

Oh yes! I was in Canada with the National team. But to tell the truth I didn't like it. It was all very expensive. And it felt everything was at least 20 years behind.

Do you think it was a good idea to enlarge the field of participants for Lakeside?

I think it was a very good idea. It's supposed to be a "World Championship" and over the last 20 years it's lost this "World" component and was more some kind of European Championship with a lot of English and Dutch players mingled with the odd player from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Belgium.

And who will win in 2014?

Me!!! It's difficult to predict - there are quite a few around who could win it.

Would that perhaps be a goal for you? Do you still set yourself goals at all after you've won the World Championship?

I know goal setting is important. But for me at the moment it is really difficult. I have achieved what I always wanted to achieve.

Do you do any kind of mental practice?

For me the most important mental part in darts is that you can be fully focused and manage to blend out everything around you. That's something I taught myself and you really can learn it by yourself.

And you don't have any problem with it even when on stage?

No, I really by now can control it and just blend everything out.

And do you like to play on stage?

Oh yes - I like playing on stage and I like playing on TV. And of course I want to win all my matches!!!

Would you say you are a natural gifted player or did you have to work hard to get there?

I had to work very hard to get where I am now. But I don't have to work as hard to keep it up.

What fascinates you most in darts?

I like best the social part - meeting with people, have some fun, talk to them.

Have you got any hobbies or interests outside of darts?

I do some flight fishing.

Is that relaxing for you?

I wouldn't say so. I usually feel stressed doing it. I did some in Canada - salmon. But here in England I do it as well.

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