The weekend of 10 & 11 October 2015 saw a sterling turnout of dart-wielding amateurs & semi-pros at the Provincial Electric Authority (PEA) Open in the Jatujak area of Bangkok. One of the premium darts events on the Thai darts calendar, Day 1 saw the festivities begin with the 4-player 1001 team tournament entered by a staggering 50 teams.
The team day tested the resolve (and alcohol capacity) of the darting congregation but things soon heated up as the nearly-rans fell by the wayside. After some close battles along the way, veteran crew LongshoreMan took the trophy, defeating the equally adept TSDC team by 2 games to 1 in the final. A truly strong team, it’s fair to say the Longshore Men carry no weak links and are truly an exceptional 4-man side that will always be a threat at tournaments.
Following the team event, Ladies (501) Singles took centre stage and offered few surprises as two of Thailand’s best ladies Ohh and Ploy both battled through to meet in the final, which PEA Dart Club’s Ohh eventually won to bring a fun-filled opening day of darts to an end.
Darters barely had time to shake off their hangovers before Day 2 began with 96 doubles sides vying for the coveted PEA Doubles trophy. Dramatic darts hit, missed and bounced out as Sam & X from Domino won in the semi-final to set up a final with Yong and Golffy from TSDC. They would have to endure a nervous wait for final while the Open Singles took place first however…an unenviable challenge that surely adds to the considerable pressure!
The singles took some surprising twists with some big-name darters crashing out in the early rounds adding to the drama. After several hours of tungsten tossing, the final match-up narrowed the field down to two of Bangkok’s most popular young darters. The PEA Singles Final would be contested by Philippine ace Adrian and Ball from Black Monster, a two-time runner-up in 2015 tournaments (at Korat & Chonburi) so far.
Before the climactic event however, the doubles final would be contested with Domino’s Sam & X squaring up to TDSC’s Golffy and Thailand’s top-ranked player Yong. In a dramatic contest (which was also available to view live via Khun Tuti’s streaming), the duo from Domino edged the TDSC pair by 3 games to 1 to take the trophy with some excellent darts under immense pressure.
As the celebrations began in the Domino camp, the climax of the weekend arrived as Adrian and Bally climbed the short stack of stairs to take centre stage at the finals board. As with the Doubles, the Singles final would once again be a best-of-5 encounter and as Adrian doubled-out to go up 2-0, victory seemed inevitable for the Philippine star.
From that point, few could have anticipated anything other than a third consecutive runner-up award for Bally, but the ever-smiling captain of Black Monster rose to the challenge with some relentlessly exquisite darts. Refusing to accept defeat, Ball went on to win 3 legs in a row to claim the trophy in (what I can only assume) will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in PEA history and make it 3rd time lucky in his 3rd final of 2015; a fitting end to cap a remarkable and enjoyable weekend of high-quality darting action.
The PEA is the last major tournament on the Thai darting calendar for 2015, but next year already promises much with the first tournament at Metropolitan Waterworks Authority in Bangkok on Saturday, 30th and Sunday, 31st January 2016 so be sure to mark that on your calendar.
PEA Open 2015 Winners:
1001 Team: LongshoreMan
501 Doubles: Sam & X (Domino)
501 Women’s Singles: Oh (PEA Darts Club)
501 Open Singles: Ball (Black Monster)
Photos by Prapan Settasombutkul (Long)