My Grand Slam this year started with the Fans Forum. The Fans Forum took place in a pub outside the city centre of Wolverhampton, the
Cleveland Arms. In this pub you still can find dart boards on the walls and it's quite well known for darts exhibitions.
So Phil Taylor was not for the first time a guest there while Dave Chisnall and Scott Mitchell made their first appearance. Of course the
name Phil Taylor always attracts the crowd an so the Pub was full, very full. Taylor was totally relaxed, I really couldn't assess Scott
Mitchell's mood and Dave Chisnall first seemed to be a little unsure what to await but that changed soon. Taylor dominated the action in
as similar fashion as Erik Bristow did in Wolverhampton - Nigel Pearson was not really necessary as a presenter though he rather skilfully
allotted the questions to all three players. Because of the prominent participant and the very open venue some security was there
and accompanied the players to their chairs including walk-on music. Some photographers were there as well - might be local press, and
some people from Sky Sports. The three players were interviewed before the forum started, probably the results will be shown on Sky Sports
during the tournament. It was very noisy and unluckily some of the questions and answers couldn't be understood. Luckily on you tube you
can hear and understand everything...
All three players told they were looking forward to the tournament. Scott Mitchell added that he feels he is the underdog in his group and
there is no pressure on him at all. He only wants to prove BDO players can play darts as well but feels relaxed going into the tournament.
The event not even counts for his BDO/WDF ranking. Taylor is looking forward to see how the BDO players - especially Martin Adams - will
do. For him it the GSOD is always a special tournament - some kind of home match - followed by many relatives and fans who freely comment.
Asked how the preparation looks on the day of the tournament Chisnall answered he doesn't practice a lot on that day what Taylor didn't
believe as he sees him a lot in the practice room. Taylor himself practices some time in his hotel room before he goes to the venue where
he warms up with brakes in between. Interesting was Mitchell's answer. He passes around 1 and a half hour at the practice board on the
day. But should it not work he just leaves and hopes it will be better when he comes on stage for his matches.
Of course Mitchell was asked as well whether he can imagine he'll switch to the PDC. He thought he of course can see that happen in the
future. It all depends whether he and his family can live with the decision. Another question was what advice the players would give a
beginner. Chisnall's answer was he would stick with the basic and straight attack. Mitchell would start teaching the basics(he did with his
own children) but that it was important to help them to enjoy what they do as well. For Taylor the dedication is the most important part
together with a lot of practice time.
Despite all the serious questions and answers the forum was a rather entertaining event as well for example when Chisnall told the sad
story about the socks he got from his daughter and which he can't wear for important matches as he always loses wearing them or when
Taylor told had to admit he has no idea what to do should he finally retire.
Sadly only 45 minutes were scheduled for the questions and answers. It even took some more time -and afterwards the players where available for photographs and signatures. I missed that part of the event, I'll pass some time taking photographs during the event anyway.
Out side it was typical Grand Slam weather, a lot of wind and rather wet. From time to time the black sky was lighted by fireworks - Guy Fawkes once again was around...