Cosmo Dart Player, and Oromocto New Brunswick resident, Adam Stella took the time to have a talk with Dart Board Chats. We covered a lot of topics, including the infamous 'bulls eye incident' from the TOC. Read on to learn everything that went down, and more!
DBC: You just had a pretty successful weekend at the Bob Jones tournament. You didn't win the big prize but you had some big showings, including knocking out a three time world champion. Did you go in to the event confident that this kind of success was in your grasp?
Adam Stella: Yes absolutely I went into it confident, my practice and preparation was great and I know what kind of success I can have when I put time in. I believe I can have success at any tournament, I’m used to playing top notch guys in the Maritimes, the number of entries are smaller but to get to a final back home you usually have to face the Dave Cameron’s Jeff Smith Kylie Edmunds And so on. And this was my second BDO final in 2 months I lost the BDO potato open final to nick smith at the end of September so I knew it was in grasp.
DBC: OK well, really can't have a darts interview without talking about practice. How do you approach your practice in terms of practice strategy (and/or) philosophy, and who or what has influenced how you practice?
Adam Stella: Well I try to get a hour of practice in day might be four separate sessions but try to fit it in when I can. Strategy wise I usually start off with finishing games working on my doubles but it really depends on how I’m throwing, if I’m confident on my scoring I’ll work more on finishes and vice versa. Jeff Smith has been a big influence in my practice routines he has always gave me advice since I started and same goes with Dave Cameron it’s the little things they help you with that makes a difference in my game . So when those guys talk I listen, and I think with Jeff’s success in the last few years overseas it really has North America buzzing to play darts which is great.
DBC: and how important is practice in the mix, when you include things like self belief, natural talent, and game experience?
Adam Stella: Practice is really important. You can believe you are self feel confident all you want but without practice you’re never going to be able to get the true confidence to win. That being said, game experience I feel, is the greatest key to success, but I also think the right setup in equipment let’s you build your confidence which makes you want to practice.
DBC: By this you mean having the right stems/flights with a set of darts that is right for you? On that subject, is there an Adam Stella signature dart and if not can we expect one?
Adam Stella: Yes exactly what I mean. Well Cosmo/FitFlight signed me this last April and have been working with me for the last 4 months designing my signature darts. They been great at creating a dart that’s perfect for me. And I think that’s why this year I have been having so much success so far. It’s a great feeling of confidence when your dart feels perfect and I’m grateful for what they have done
DBC: Yeah, I'm a FitFlight user myself so I know what you mean. Strange that they still get so much resistance from some players. Please let me know when the signature dart is released!
Now, as far as darts growing in popularity (and quality) in Canada, I think I agree with you. However in your final game on the weekend I was among just a handful of people watching the big game between you and the eventual champ Shawn Clohecy. Darts in Canada seems to be healthy for participants, but not quite so much an audience. What needs to happen to change that, should it change, and is that change already happening?
Adam Stella: Well I think this past weekend the audience was so low in attendance because it was Sunday and nine pm before the finals got under way. A lot of people driving four to five hours to get home or catching planes. I think if they played the singles Saturday morning so the finals was around three or four pm they would have a crowd for sure. But I’m sure as tournament directors that are guaranteeing so much money they have to be smart. If singles was Saturday chances are they would lose a lot of people for the other team events which would lose them a lot of revenue in registration and bar sales. But I think if big companies would start throwing money into darts in North America you could change all of that and could run tournaments in the manner needed to create a atmosphere and a time frame that suits most
And the resistance from some players is I think they just see the price not the quality. Be like buying a Mercedes or Ford tempo your paying for what u get and in the long run that’s quality and performance
DBC: OK, well then at least you and I can agree a set of fit flight flights are cheaper than a set of paper flights that get smushed when you are putting them on, never mind playing!
Now, as far as bigger companies sponsoring Darts, I personally look to Curling as to what could happen. Are things happening? is there any effort that you know about,, whether through the NDFC or some other bodies to sell darts as a valid sponsorship opportunity to the bigger companies?
Adam Stella: Exactly curling, golf all of those sports are doing the right things. I see nothing coming from the NDFC as for advertising or anything of that sorts to create sponsorship opportunities, they need some eager people to change the way it is operated. To me it seems like they are operating this part of the organization like you would in the 19th century not the 20th everything now need advertising on the internet not a billboard or magazine and I hope people start realizing this because I believe the opportunity in Canada is huge but changes need to be made in the NDFC operations for that to happen. As in professional live streams at all the majors, which would create perfect opportunities for big companies to be advertised which might make them take a look at us.
DBC: Well this is almost reminiscent of what happened with the BDO with the number of televised games affecting opportunities for the players. Obviously Canada doesn't have a Barry Hearn, so not saying to re-invent the PDC, but how do you think a player organized Canadian version of Premiere League Might work? Invite/top seeds only with each match live streamed and hosted in cities that would actually have decent concentrations of media (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax etc.) and then make a effort to invite said media... and create some actual hype for the event... and maybe have some real sponsors start looking?
Adam Stella: I think that’s what we need a player organization or an organization gearing to make this game huge. Look at the CDC in the USA they started a few years back and they have a qualifying school to get into the events and run it like professional circuit. Canada needs something like this. Too much talent and opportunity to let it go to waste.
DBC: OK and just really quickly, I also have a question for you from one of my readers. 'Jeff' from Hampton New Brunswick asks "What opportunities do feel are the best option right now as either a steel tip player, or a soft tip player. Payout or trips etc?"
Adam Stella: Well Jeff from Hampton (laughs). I feel soft tip has more opportunity at the moment, due to the remote play an organization like the partners promoting darts are doing great things, with so many members in there system there tournament of champions is paying out almost a million us dollars. And this is creating opportunities with big payouts to change people’s darting careers. And all the qualifiers for this are done in your home town bar which is more cost efficient, and every 90 days the partners promoting darts has a singles and doubles tournament which pays out huge money. So at the moment I’d have to lean towards soft tip for the best opportunity. But hopefully we can get steel tip geared in the same direction
DBC: Well funny you should mention the whole webcast thing. I just noticed that the NHL has an affiliated hockey league called 'Elite' in the U.K. and I found that on their website they give the option of buying tickets or buying the webcast. Whether or not you charge for the webcast, do you think something like this, just having it so readily available from the official league website, would be a good move for darts?
Adam Stella: 100% think it’s a great idea it gives people easy access to view the sport. It creates fans easily and we all know once you get fans of a sport, money starts rolling into organizations. Merchandise, ticket sales, endorsements and sponsorship opportunities. I believe these are the steps needed to be taken not only in Canada but all of North America.
DBC: and well why not a Canadian version of the CDC, I mean that is just as American version of the PDC... if not that, then what is keeping the NDFC from evolving? Is it maybe conflicting mandates? If so how do you resolve it?
Adam Stella: Canadian version of the CDC would be great. The hard part is locations and the cost of air fare in Canada is ridiculous. I honestly think it would work just need to really think of locations that are feasible for all of Canada to fly into and play. But honestly don’t know what’s keeping the NDFC from evolving but kinda wish it did. I don’t really know if anyone knows what the plan is in the future from the NDFC or if they have any great plans for the future I don’t think anyone knows it seems to be a big topic lately with the players.
DBC: Well that is a big problem, but maybe airfares won’t be as big an issue if the payouts for winning get bigger? Could you see that happening?
Adam Stella: Bigger payouts makes it easier for sure, or eventually be nice to see an organization making a deal with an airline which would be great
DBC: Some would argue that by making darts more commercial you might force out grass-roots players. Do you think this is a danger, and how would you ensure the growth of participation at entry levels?
and as far as a Canadian/north American pro-circuit, how would you feel about getting a slate of top North American players, getting a professional company on board to handle the webcasts, and then sending you on to Dragons Den to get the money to promote it?
Adam Stella: Honestly I hear people talking and have great ideas but no one has stepped up. We are all good at making comments, but no one does anything, really, from what I see. So we need, as players, someone to step up and get things rolling.
The north American idea you mentioned would be perfect. There would be so many great matches and rivals with a Canada/USA format, it would make great TV.
DBC: Well, not sure either of us are the ones to get that going, so back to regular dart interview questions, who is your favourite player?
Adam Stella: Garry Anderson is my favourite player of all time but I really like watching Darren Webster. I had a chance to meet and hang out with him for a few days in Kansas a few weeks ago one of the nicest funniest guys I have met.
DBC: OK and at the recent TOC in soft tip there was an incident between you and Tony Martin. First off, what is your version of events, and secondly, was there no neutral third party to observe the diddle? What happened here and is there any lingering misgivings or is now just in the past?
Adam Stella: Well he threw at the bull just outside the middle I️ threw hit a double. I️ walked up pushed my dart up to show him, I️ turned my head and looked at him. He nodded acknowledging it so I️ pulled the darts. As I️ went to pass him his darts back he says he didn’t see it. Soooo ref comes over we redid for he wins. Then the red indicated that there was video footage but tony said we already re-diddled so at this point I️ was so frustrated I️ said whatever. Only misgiving was Tony's interview after when he totally explained the whole situation backwards
DBC: Will you do or approach things any differently in the future to make sure that something like this bulls eye incident doesn't happen again?
Adam Stella: Yes for sure I will. It was a hard way to learn a lesson. Definitely made me not trust my opponent anymore (laughs) and you will never see me, I mean never see me, pull the darts, ever again, and I’ll always make sure the ref is watching. And if something like this does occur I won’t be throwing a second bull. (laughs)
DBC: and speaking of the future, what does that future hold for Adam Stella in the world of darts?
Adam Stella: Well the future is going to see me play a lot more soft tip for sure I mean the money is there so why not. But if I get keep my steel tip game improving I think you will see me go to PDC Q school and take a shot at a tour card.
DBC: Well best of luck to you Adam, and thanks for taking the time to do this chat.
Adam Stella: You are very welcome. Thank you for having me.