Recently, I spoke to High Roller Radio, a YouTube channel which encompasses darts, poker and UFC as well betting tips. I caught up with the creator and host, Derrick, in a recent interview, and he told me a little bit about himself. “I am a broadcaster by trade, both radio and television, with an extreme love of poker, the UFC and darts. I love games of strategy and skill. Although I believe skill wins out in the long run, all games involve some form of chance or luck, which make them very exciting to watch, especially at the most elite level. I have played the World Series of Poker a few times and once even qualified for the World Heads-Up championship in Barcelona, Spain,” he told me.
“My love of darts began when I was a teenager, 15, when my dad got me involved. For the next five years, I played competitively, travelled around Canada and the US, and took the game quite seriously. Then, after I graduated college, I moved away to a small northern town for my first radio gig. The darts scene there was not as vibrant and I slowly drifted away from the game. In fact, I didn’t come back to the game until many years later.”
“I like the precision of darts. I like the competitive nature of it. I like that it’s a test of both skill and mental strength. I like the fact you can hit a 180 one shot and a 26 the next. I like that the best darts players in the world have to deal with pressure on each shot. I like that they miss sometimes. I like the big out shots. I like upsets. I like the characters, the bravado, the cockiness. When I was growing up, Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson were my two favourites, pure characters,” High Roller Radio’s host said.
Derrick also told me what encouraged him to set up his channel, “I got very sick in 2012 and ended up in a 10-day coma, which resulted in major surgery and a long recovery. I’m lucky and quite thankful to be alive. As a way to keep busy, I decided to combine my love of radio and poker and started my own website but it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that darts entered the equation.”
“I am no webmaster but I built the site from scratch, with some help from GoDaddy. I started reaching out to poker players on Twitter and started interviewing them. They’ve been quite receptive. I’ve spoken to some of the world’s best players, including three world champions, multiple WSOP bracelet winners and many card playing millionaires. It’s been good therapy for me. It’s been a very good hobby. As for the darts, I finally decided, that since I am watching anyway, I was going to start doing PDC recap videos. I really enjoy them. I have also interviewed a number of darts personalities, including commentators Wayne Mardle and Chris Murphy, statistician Christopher Kempf and professional player Ross Smith (the man they named the curse after!)”
Derrick originates from Canada, and over the last few years, we have seen attempts from the PDC to bridge the gap across the Atlantic and boost the state of darts in North America. I asked Derrick for his thoughts on the situation across the pond, “I think it’s just an exposure thing. Players like John Part, Jeff Smith and Dawson Murschell would have no problem walking down the street in Canada anonymously. Chances are they wouldn’t get recognized. In the United Kingdom it’s different. John Part is a legend over there. I am not involved in the ‘darts scene’ so I can’t give you a great answer but if the PDC ever brought an event to Canada (like it has in Vegas), that may help,” he suggested.
Finally, as is customary for all my Darts Fans guests, I asked the man behind High Roller to give me his prediction for the future of darts. “My three predictions are: a small PDC tour for women with decent prize pools; Adrian Lewis to reach another world final in next five years and, of course, High Roller Radio to continue providing solid darts content!”
Thanks to Derrick of High Roller Radio