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Monday, September 29, 2008

Champions Play Darts in Itaewon

It came as no surprise to many when scientists recently revealed darts to be the second laziest sport in the world behind baseball. For a long time now, the game has suffered from the image of being a dull, pointless game played by dull, pointless, overweight nerdy men boys.

But not all of this is true as some females also play now. The history of darts is both long and illustrious, the dart board allegedly the inspiration behind both the wheel and King Arthur's round table, while darts themselves where thrown for many millennia until some clever person thought of making them bigger in order to kill stuff.

The game's vocabulary has also influenced modern day culture with expressions such as ``bullseye" and ``three in a bed" now a part of everyday life.

For those who play it, darts provides an intoxicating cocktail of skill, nerve, courage, and alcohol. While the game itself is simple, throw the sharp pointy things at the round colored thingy on the wall, to become actually good involves practice and skills.

These skills include the ability to stand perfectly still and throw something forward. Sounds easy? Well it isn't, with most professional dart players revealing it can take weeks for someone to get ``really, really good like me."

The Itaewon International Dart League has been around forever, and for many, the Monday night pilgrimage to the ``Vegas of Asia" provides a bright light in an otherwise dull existence. There are four divisions; A being the best, B a close second, and C&D, well, a bit of a joke. Each team is sponsored by a bar, such as Scrooge Bar, blessed with team ``Eberhardt," one of the oldest and arguably most naturally skillful teams around.

As well as the league, there are a variety of tournaments played throughout the week, with the Friday night one at Dolca Vita bar, notable. If there, ask for Jim, the happy owner has played for over 50 years and is still yet to win a game.

With three seasons played a year, and new bars popping up like mosquito bites in the morning, there are lots of opportunities to join in the fun. New players are always welcome, regardless of sex, age, weight, looks, and skill.

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