14th Annual Anaconda Winter Getaway
Washington teams take Anaconda by storm, win three divisions, and leave a lasting impression
By Ty Hughes
Five hundred and seventy six miles and nine-plus hours of freeway deposited us at the foot of the Pintler Mountains in Southwestern Montana, where the unique and storied copper mining town of Anaconda anxiously awaited the arrival of hundreds of dart players from all over the region, including Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and California.
Anaconda’s 14th Annual Winter Getaway, Montana’s biggest darting event of the year over the weekend of February 17-19, 2012, is aptly named.
Bitterly cold winds whipped the snow sideways through the little town. Yet unfazed by the weather, 79 four-person teams were categorized into four divisions: A, B, C, and D, and match play is distributed over 14 participating locations around town. The normally quiet streets of Anaconda are completely overtaken by scads of dart players, all a part of one giant citywide dart party!
Home to 9,000+ residents, Anaconda has a whopping 27 bars, all within walking distance of each other! “There is literally a bar on every corner”, someone said out loud.
“The copper miners would come down from the mountain by trolley and would get off at every corner to find a bar”, explains the owner of the local VFW Hall, where many of the dart tournaments are played.
Friday night features a Blind Draw Doubles event as the players jockey for position and prestige. But the focus remains on the “fun-factor” as friendships, new and old, are established at every dart board in town.
All day Saturday, teams travel from bar to bar and play a different opponent at each location in a round robin, 301, freeze out format.
From there, Sunday’s A,B, C, D divisional brackets are established, each of which award a cash prize to 1st-3rd place winners. Over $12,000 is expected to be paid out in total.
The Calcutta pool is a highlight of the weekend, when bids are placed on each team, auction-style, based on their perceived likelihood to win. The “price” of each team varies, and can skyrocket to seven or eight hundred bucks each!
Washington-based dart players wound up taking 1st Place in the A, B, and C divisions that weekend – an amazing show of skill and concentration.
The number of participating Washington-based players continues to grow as memorable stories of Anaconda’s Winter Getaway are passed around social circles.
Plan on getting out of town next February for a great road trip and as much dart action as you can handle, when the caravans aim their vehicles toward Anaconda, Montana.