Wayne 'Hawaii 501' Mardle
18th March 2007
Bigwigs, Audenshaw @ UK Open NW Regional Finals
DartsMad – Thanks for talking to us Wayne. So I hesitate to ask you this but… How did 2006 go for you? And were you happy with it?
Wayne Mardle – It went badly, and was I happy with it? In a word - NO.
DM – Sometimes bad experiences give you the spur to do better in the future and 2007 seems to be going a bit more to plan for you so maybe you’ve used it in a positive way?
WM – Yeah so far so good, my form has picked up nicely.
DM – Have you set yourself any targets for this year?
WM – Yes, to win a televised event.
DM – So where do you hope to be this time next year?
WM – I hope to be world champion.
DM – Well one televised event next Christmas can deliver both those dreams! You’ve done pretty well this year in the UK Open regional qualifiers. Do you find them tough (cramped venues, etc) or do you enjoy them?
WM – They are very tough, but it’s the same for us all. The venues could be better, but that’s being worked on.
DM – Where does the UK Open rank on your list of priorities/favourite tourneys?
WM – If I’m honest it’s one of my least favourite tournaments - too hot and chaotic.
DM – What’s your record like in the UK Open? How did you do last year? What do you think your chances are this year?
WM – My record has been horrible, but I always go anywhere knowing if I play my best I will be there near the end.
DM – I’ve been asking most people this question. For me, one of the most intriguing tourneys of ‘yesteryear’ was the NOTW. The short format and openness of it was fascinating and made it extremely difficult to win. Did you ever get to play in it? If so, how did you find it? If not, would you have liked to? And how do you think it compares to the UK Open?
WM – No I never got to play in The News of the World. Today It would be so hard to win due to the best of 3 format which makes it different to the UK Open. The UK Open’s format is long enough to recover from a poor leg, unlike the NOTW. Everyone thinks Phil Taylor is a slow starter, yet he still won the NOTW.
DM – Very good point, he won the last ever one just at the start of his domination. You’re no longer ‘the young pretender’ and have been pounding the PDC circuit for a few years now. How do you cope with the change in expectations, both from yourself and the general public? And what advice would you give to somebody following in your wake?
WM – I just get on with it, I know that on my day I am one of the very best, I just believe that one day I will win the big one. My advice to anyone would be to get the job done whilst enjoying yourself.
DM – You’re off to Oz shortly to enjoy yourself, I mean play darts. Oz is a long way to go to play darts! Looking forward to it? Been before?
WM – I can’t wait, this is going to be my first time out there.
DM - Do you have another book planned?
WM – No. Don’t know, no, maybe, No.
DM – As long as you’re sure. Right, let’s talk poker. How’s your luck and have you played any live games?
WM – I love poker and I play live a lot. Vegas is the best place for live poker - so many players who are pants.
DM – I’ve only ever played Blackjack & Roulette in Vegas, I’d love to play some poker out there. Have you considered trying to be a sponsored player at any of the large poker rooms?
WM – Yeah I would love to be sponsored by a poker room. Sort it out please.
DM – There’s a few darts players into their poker these days. Peter Manley gives the impression he knows what he’s doing. Who’s better – you or Manley?
WM - Who’s better me or Peter? ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME. Him.
DM - WSOP Main Event winner or PDC World Champion – I think I know which you would choose but would you have to think about it?!
WM – No contest - PDC world Champion. I have practiced for 22 years to become a world champion one day. And there would be no luck involved.
DM – Fair enough. Back to darts then - what excites you the most in the game at the moment? What gets you out of bed and onto the practice board?
WM – Basically I just love playing darts. Always will I hope.
DM – When I hear my voice on a recording or see myself on video/in photos, I cringe! Do you have the same feeling? If so, at what point do you, as somebody who is on tv a lot, stop feeling like this? Or does that never go away?
WM – At first it felt strange but now it’s just me doing what I do. I do cringe at my dancing though.
DM – Stockport County have just set a league record of 9 straight clean sheet wins. Their keeper is on loan from Wolves and until last weekend had never conceded a goal in senior football..! Ever. I think he should have retired unbeaten! Are there any players you’ve faced who have never beaten you? Or any that you have never beaten? A nemesis if you like!
WM – I have beaten everyone. I don’t think there is a player out there who I have not beaten, Honest. I have no nemesis, oh yes I do…Phil.
DM – Who doesn’t! Last one - Clarkson – perceptive or a prat?
WM - A perceptive Prat.