Lucky Pence is organizing a world-record soft-tip dart event in Everett.
I hope my buddy of 25 years sees his dream come true. We’ve rolled in the dart world and played all around the Pacific Northwest — at Ocean Shores, in Oregon and several times in Reno, Nev. and Las Vegas.
Our home base for the first five years was an Italian joint called Mario’s in Lynnwood. It’s no longer on Highway 99, but many still remember bowls of free rolls soaking in garlic butter that owners offered to hungry dart players during league and tournament play.
On Saturday, Lucky, 50, aims to take darts to a new high. It’s already the most-played indoor bar game in America, Lucky said, but soft-tip darts hold no Guinness World Record for shooting a 300,001 game.
“I’ve been dreaming about this for years,” Lucky said. “I’ve planned it in my sleep.”
Traditional dart games are played backward. Players start with a score of 901, 701, 501 or 301, shoot three darts per round, and the score electronically reduces.
When zero is perfectly achieved, the game is won.
Saturday, Lucky’s hand-picked band of players will “take out” a 300,001 game in about 15 hours. They’ll begin at 8 a.m. at Flights Pub, 7601 Evergreen Way in Everett.
He’s calculated the world record attempt to the last detail. Scorekeepers, who will toil in shifts, will record the placement of every dart on spread sheets. A dozen players known for their prowess hitting bull’s-eyes will take turns playing on two boards. They will sit in a half-circle on a stage.
If all goes well, the skillful players will average at least 100 points for every three darts thrown, perhaps fading to 50 points a round as hours slowly pass.
Players include Jeff Springer, Chad Brown and Jeff Ewing of Everett; Todd Jordan of Lynnwood. David Foster of Federal Way; Juan Ramos and Dave Bresee of Seattle; Dave Mozingo of Shoreline; Sam Resa of Issaquah; Darin Bohland of Brier; Steve Roth of Renton and Norm Wold of Stanwood.
Those men are fine dart players. I’ve had the privilege of shooting against many of them in tournaments and during league matches.
Yes, we’ve shared a few beers together, too. The dart family circles together, not only at bars and taverns, but at weddings, birthdays and funerals. Before my first grandchild came along six years ago, I shot darts several nights a week.
Grandma time drained my dart hours, but I’ll throw again. I hope a comeback is as easy as getting back on a horse.
At the Saturday event for a world record, Lucky has also organized a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish, a foundation that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
He is as excited about the potential world record as he is about raising money for kids.
Ty Hughes, editor and publisher of Bayview Publishing, Medallion Dart News and the Karaoke & Entertainment Guide, has known Lucky for many years.
“Lucky works tirelessly building enthusiasm for darts and other human interest endeavors,” Hughes said. “He’s sort of a barroom philanthropist, and quite the entrepreneur as well. Lucky is constantly dreaming up new ways to draw attention to the sport and its participants — a marketing dynamo.”
Lucky has been advocating the positive effects of darts to anyone willing to listen, Hughes said.
“Darts, and Lucky, have been on a roller coaster ride in the Northwest for 30 years now under the Medalist league system,” he said. “Not only a staple of entertainment at most pubs and sports bars, darts are also a thriving metropolis of social activity and camaraderie for local communities.”
Lucky estimates that he’s run more than 4,000 dart tournaments. Raised in Alger, he graduated from Lynnwood High School before serving in the Army for 10 years. He worked for Safeway as a printer.
Darts has been his life for three decades.
“I like it when a good plan comes together,” he said. “I like to see things work smoothly.”
If all goes well Saturday, Lucky’s 300,001 program will be repeated in California and Ohio. He will be on hand both places to ensure the Guinness notation.
“I hope people will remember who set the record,” Lucky said.
But thousands of dart players will never forget Lucky Pence, who spent decades promoting their sport.
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451; firstname.lastname@example.org.