Raymond Smith joined son Ky at the PDC World Championships by taking out the Pirate Life Winmau DPA Satellite finals. His 6-1 win over Team Misfit team mate Robbie King saw him crowned as Australia’s number one player for 2021.
This was on the back of making the semi finals of the Oceanic Masters the night before, an event that saw the man who defeated him in the semi finals, WA darting young superstar Bailey Marsh, go on to lose to Smith’s son Ky in the final.
“Last night I really excited and nervous for Ky. To go overseas by himself at his age was concerning. I guess winning today resolved those issues for us.
“It took it out of me more mentally than physically. However I felt okay and the drills and structure I have been taught through my life came into my performance today. I felt the freest I have in darts yesterday and really enjoyed it. I did not have to think about my technique and today I was focused on myself rather than my opponents.
“It had to be that way, I would go to war for James Bailey and yet we stood opposite each other in the semi final, only hours after James was helping me think about how to look after Ky for his trip! Robbie King is such a strong player, I needed to focus on my game and what I was doing with my darts.
“This last few months has been difficult. Losing Carol Shepherd and then Bertie Ridgeway has been a devastating blow. They both helped shaped me as a person as well as a darts player. The drills Bertie put me through to improve my game were unique but they helped me to improve my game in big match scenarios where your technique may falter.
“After my last performance on the Ally Pally stage in 2018/19 I have put a lot of things in my life that mean I can now play for the right reasons, for the enjoyment of the game. It gives me the confidence to know we can do well this year. If there is one thing guaranteed it is that we are well drilled. Ky has matured as a young man and as a dart player. If he needs anything I will be there 100% but I wont let that impact my own game. I have averaged 86 over the last decade with the ability to secure a bigger average in the big games. The big moments don’t see me lose touch because I am mathematically aware of the situation. Bert taught me so much about big moments and keeping my form and shape, I am confident I can do it if I can make sure that I am a little better than luck.
“Getting back to the Ally Pally was never a sure thing, darts and I have always had a strange relationship. Wayne Weening and Greg Walsh have been huge supports in helping rebuild me to be a better me. My wife Bel and the boys Ky and Conner have always been there to support and hold me up when I have needed it, and James Bailey has also played a major part in that.
“Winning is a habit and you have to get in the habit. Ky and I look forward to extending our winning habit to the big stage at the Ally Pally at the end of the year.