King Of The Hill I | June 10, 2008 | Mark Almeroth & Adam Bernard

Mark Almeroth: King of the Hill

The first-ever "King of the Hill" dart tournament is now in the history books and, after a great day of darts, we would like to thank everyone who played or came out to support the event. With 25 players and about 15 spectators over the course of a very hot and humid day (the outside temperature reached into the 40s with the humidex), everyone had a good time playing and watching some great darts. It's not often you get 25 or more good dart players in a room for a singles event and we were glad to have provided everyone with the opportunity to do just that.

King of the Hill winner Mark Almeroth.Firstly, we would like to give a special thanks to the sponsors of this event: Chris Prosser of Templehouse Renovations Ltd., Nodor-Swiftflyte Canada, Don Drew of D&G Trophies, and Jay Tomlinson of Bullseye News.

Without sponsorship and the support of community businesses such as these, events like this one would be difficult - if not impossible - to hold. If you enjoy the thought of future tournaments in this area, please consider supporting any and all of the above companies if you can.

An extra-special thanks goes out to Dave Batterton who not only helped organize the event by unselfishly lending his tournament experience to us, but also for tirelessly transforming the second back room of the Ferret & Firkin into another dart room.

Over nearly a 7 hour day it all came down to Mark Almeroth, locally known as "The Moth", besting Adam Bernard by needing only 9 games of their best of 11 final in front or a room full of spectators. As ironic as it is, the winner is that very same guy who started the idea just on the message board.

We started out with a field of 25 for Round Robin play, with 5 groups of 5, and whittled that down after about 2-1/2 hours to the best 16. We then went on to a single elimination round of 16 that had all places pre-determined based on placement in groups.

Round of 16

With a few surprises in the Round of 16, including John Morrison facing Jason Marchis (2 Team Ontario players) in the first round, Rob Skillicorn being eliminated by Jake Morrison, and Brian Schumacher throwing very impressively - even tossing a 15-darter to eliminate hopeful Jason Bernard in their best of 5 match - we knew we had some great darts coming up.

So after 20 minutes of play time, we had John Morrison, Mark Almeroth, Jake Morrison, Brian Schumacher, Adam Bernard, Rigg Manuel, Ted Morris and Veli Veli advancing to the Round of 8.

Round of 8

The big game in this group was the Morrison versus Almeroth match, and everyone crowded to the back of the newly created second dart room at the Ferret & Firkin to watch the best of 7 match. Almeroth ultimately prevailed after a few missed doubles and uninspired darts on both sides.

In the match on the next board, Brian Schumacher was serving notice he was to be considered a contender for the day as he took out Jake Morrison in 5 legs, taking their best of 7 set 4-1.

In the other room, Adam Bernard took out Rigg Manuel in a close match, and Veli Veli bested his sometimes training partner Ted Morris in their best of 7.

Round of 4

The matchups for this round seemed a little lopsided at first, with Mark Almeroth facing Brian Schumacher and Adam Bernard facing Veli Veli.

Since we didn't know who Veli Veli was, we thought this match would be a shoe-in for the younger Bernard. Not to be taken lightly, Veli started off strong and caught our eye with his steady darts. Adam was also on target and most shots were traded-off without advantage. Leg after leg, one player would be on a double after 15-18 darts, and, as enjoyable as it was to be a spectator, someone would have to unfortunately lose. Veli finally bowed out on a superb 15-darter from Adam to take his 5th leg and berth in the final.

In the other room, Brian Schumacher was proceeding to build a 3-1 lead with some really nice darts and a winner's determination. Throwing well and consistently hitting his outs when needed, Brian was looking like he was there to win it all, but just when it looked like Schumacher was about to give Almeroth a failing grade, The Moth turned the tables and powered ahead with 4 straight wins and several high finishes to stop his opponent and his amazing run of darts short.

Was this a part of Toronto's darting history?

Some posters on the Toronto Darts message board have said this is the first time a singles event like this of any scale is being done in Toronto. We were a little surprised and asked for confirmation.

One of our regular forum posters "Ground Zero", who is pretty well-known in local dart circles, confirmed this for us. We're still a little bit in disbelief on that count, and are just glad that we and our sponsors could make this day possible for all those who played and watched.

As a thank you for all those who played in the first ever King of the Hill tourney, we had some special medallions made up by D&G Trophies. These were bronze dart medallions with an attached ribbon and an engraved plate on the back that gave the date of the event. Anyone who either played or contributed to the event was offered one as a token of our appreciation.

View other King or Queen of the Hill tournament results:

King of the Hill series: 1 | 2 | 3
King of the Hill Cricket series: 1 | 2
Queen of the Hill series: 1 | 2