A beer, a drink, and a dart party at the interval of the cafeteria talks. This is how the game of popular darts was associated for years.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth. Only complete laymen can think that darts is a benefit to beer. It's definitely not a pub’s entertainment. Darts is a serious and respectable sport. Matches in England, the Netherlands or Belgium gathered over a dozen thousand fans’ claims Robert Kaźmierczak, President of the Polish Dart Organisation, in an interview with the ‘Niezależna.pl’. ‘It's not only great excitement but also great money,’ he adds.
The best Polish darter, classified on the fifteenth place in the world, Krzysztof Ratajski from the PDC World Darts Championship, which ended a few days ago in London, brought a cheque for 50 thousand pounds, or about 250 thousand PLN! That's what he got for his promotion to the quarterfinal. If he had won the whole tournament, he would have come back to the country richer by half a million pounds! But still, Ratajski would have sinned by complaining, because in the last two years he has earned 282 thousand pounds, or almost one and a half million PLN, thanks to playing darts.
‘At the same time, the leader of the financial ranking of the elite PDC, Dutchman Michael van Gerwen, also enriched himself with one and a half million but pounds,’ reveals Robert Kaźmierczak.
‘Each PDC World Darts Championship or European Championship rank is sponsored by betting companies, exclusive alcohol and cigarette manufacturers. Believe me, these sponsors do not save on prizes,’ says the President of the Polish Dart Organisation.
Kaźmierczak is twice the team champion and three times the European vice-champion in the electronic dart. In these events in the Polish representation, his partner was, among others, Krzysztof Ratajski.
The 43-year-old Ratajski is a graduate of electrical engineering. Initially, he treated darts as a pub’s entertainment. Close to his house in Skarżysko-Kamienna, there was a pub, where he liked to go out for a glass of beer from time to time. He outplayed his friends without any problems. Finally, he tried his hand at national competitions. Successfully, too. He was doing so well that he decided to make darts a way of life and a profession that would bring concrete money.
Three years ago, Ratajski's life changed 180 degrees. The breakthrough was winning the Winmau World Masters tournament. The triumph was accompanied by a lot of money. The best Polish darts player earned 25 thousand pounds or 120 thousand PLN. Then Krzysztof decided to quit his job and devote himself to the darts. He trained for a few hours a day. This resulted in a promotion to the quarter-finals of the last PDC World Darts Championship. This is the greatest success in the history of this sport in our country.
Source: Poland Daily, niezalezna.pl