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“It Put Me in a Dark Place” – Steve West Gives Insight on His PDC Experience

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Darts has grown unbelievably over the last few decades. The talent pool, sponsorships, prize money, viewership, fan base… Basically everything has skyrocketed and is showing no signs of slowing down. 

For the players at the top of the game, this has been a blessing. 

Darts has now made dozens of players multi-millionaires, something that would be laughable if mentioned in the 70’s or 80’s. 

What people don’t tend to discuss as much though (at least publicly), is the darker side of being a professional player. 

Players do comment on the grueling travel, tournament schedule and loneliness alongside exhibitions and media work, but this is true for a lot of professional sports. 

The bigger issue is the gulf between the players at the top of the rankings and those lower down. 

You’d think being a professional will guarantee you a good living but those outside the top 64 earn below the average UK salary in prize money.

Therefore, many players juggle tournaments and practice alongside another job or simply struggle to make ends meet whilst pursuing their dreams.

In a conversation with Online Darts, former pro Steve West touches on this issue. 

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Steve West Will Turn down Pro Card if He Wins Q-School

Steve West spent 7 years playing in the BDO/WDF and a decade with the PDC as a professional. 

After recently undergoing hip replacement surgery, he is now getting back into the game but doesn’t have any intention of taking up a Tour card again. 

West will enter Q-School to see what level he is at but when asked what would happened if he won it, he had this to say:

“I’d turn it down (ProTour Card). 100%.

“It put me in a dark place, and I don’t want to go back there.”

West believes there are much better options available to low ranked players to earn a living from darts with MODUS Super Series, the ADC and WDF. Especially as it gives you more options.

Speaking more on the darker side of darts, West said:

“If you’re playing every single day, to hit a double, to win a match, to pay your car insurance, your phone bill, your mortgage… It’s a horrible, horrible situation to be in.

“I did that for a lot of years. As soon as I stopped doing that, I enjoyed darts better.

“I went and got a full-time job and now I’m throwing the best darts of my life.”

Glen Durrant recently spoke on this subject in relation to players outside of the top 32 on the Pro Tour. 

He mentioned that ‘the players at the top are getting richer’ and that if you are outside of the top 32, it can be a very HARD living to be a professional darts player. 

If you play in an overseas tournament (or even one in the same country), you can lose money if you face an early round exit with travel, accommodation and other expenses.  

Related – Durrant says to ‘enjoy Luke Littler while he’s here’ as he thinks he could retire early

As a representative of the PDPA, he is pushing for a ‘minimum wage’ prize for the Pro Tour with early exits paying out £250 (as an example) to help cover the costs of being a professional player with the PDC.

While the PDC have been excellent when it comes to growing the sport and providing opportunities for professional players, they have acknowledged this issue. 

PDC CEO Matt Porter has previously stated that they want to do more to ensure players outside the top 64 can have a stable career as professional darts players.

See also – How to become a professional darts player

Watch the full interview below:

Steve West (Online Darts YouTube)

What did you think of Steve’s points? Did you think all Pro players made a great living and would you want to turn professional if you knew what a grind it would be, especially mentally? 

Let us know in the comments below 👇 or share to Facebook to see what others have to say.

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