Get ready to see darts sporting royalty up close on Sunday 19th May 2019 on The Potters Super 8 Darts League One Night Break featuring Phil Taylor.
Witness darts legends live, including Chris Mason, two times PDC World Championship semi-finalist. Known by darts fans as Mace the Ace, the current ITV and talkSPORT darts pundit from Bristol lost in four world semi-finals in both BDO and PDC events and was the winner of prestigious televised tournaments such as the Irish Masters and English Open in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He played in what is considered as one of the greatest matches in darts history in 2000, losing 4-5 to Ted Hankey in the world semifinals, a match which until recently, held the 180 record for a nine-set match with 38 180's hit in the match, 16 of them from Mason. We caught up with Chris for a chat…
Can you tell us about your career?
I started out doing well as a youth player and then, like all kids, I went and did different things, but then started again at around 19/20. I did a couple of years and enjoyed playing for the county, but everything changed for me when I was invited to the Belgium Open. I played and reached the semi-finals, and less than a year after that I was in the World Championships. In the 1996 BDO World Championship I lost to Andy Fordham, in the 1996 World Matchplay I lost to Alan Warriner and reached the final of the Sky Sports World Pairs partnered by Steve Raw, and we got off to a great start but were narrowly beaten. These events were a big boost and got me in front of millions. 1998, 1999 and 2000 were big years for me, reaching the semi finals or quarter finals of the big events.
What is your biggest career highlight?
Playing for England is the biggest honour and representing your country in your chosen sport. It is the best feeling!
Who came up with your nickname ‘Mace the Ace’?
My dad played and got the name, and when he finished playing it just got handed down to me.
How do you rate your chances in the Super 8 at Potters?
It is eight of us darts players competing and there is a lot of kudos in winning, so I am really practicing! There isn’t an easy game and the group games are the best of three. I’m practicing at home and I’m lucky as Devon is a hotbed for the sport.
Do you play any other sports?
I didn’t have the best lifestyle when I played darts, so now I work out at the gym to keep myself fit and try and make up for bad habits from years ago! I also watch boxing and go fishing – when it’s not raining!
You are also a darts pundit. How is that?
I love it as I am so passionate about the sport and always want to be involved in it in some way. I currently work on ITV and talkSPORT and have worked on Channel 4, Eurosports and more. I am the busiest I have ever been and if I had worked as hard when I was playing professionally as I am with being a pundit, I would have won the World Championship! I still play darts, but it is nice to now be able to choose what I play in.
Any top darts tips for newcomers to the sport?
Many people buy a particular brand of darts because their favourite player uses them or they like the look of them, so many people have darts that aren’t right for them. Everyone holds a pen differently and they will tend to use this grip when they hold a dart, and there is a certain dart to suit that grip. Make sure you try before you buy at a darts shop.
Any tips for darts enthusiasts who want to turn professional?
Take advice from those who have done it, enjoy it and practice.
Thanks Chris! We look forward to seeing you at Potters soon.