John Kuczynski downunder

AMERICAN John Kuczynski is used to spreading the gospel of darts in his own country, now he is hoping to do just the same Down Under when he joins the International Pro Darts Showdown Series in Queensland in January.

Johnny K, as the Pennsylvania native is known in darting circles, will join the likes of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, former world championship runner-up Andy "The Hammer" Hamilton, from Britain, South African No.1 Devon Peterson and Australia's own Kyle Anderson among others when some of the best players in the world and across this country come to the Sunshine State.

The American No.1 has taken some time off the Professional Darts Corporation tour to  work as the director of operations for an electric darts company Phoenix Darts which is in pubs across Australia now.

But now he hopes to use the Showdown Series as a stepping stone to getting back to being one of the sport's elite and an eventual return to the PDC world championships.

"I have a board up in my house all the time and I am starting to hit it pretty hard," Kuczynski said.

"I know I have to because the standard and level of play has gotten so great over the years since I first went to England.

"I watch the players and see the standard and it's incredible but I know that when I am in top form I can perform with those guys at any time."

While darts has traditionally been viewed as a sport for 45-60-year-old males, televised professional tournaments across the world have now turned the game into a serious sport enjoyed by all.

The average age of current audiences watching darts around the world is 25-34 years and Kuczynski said tournaments such as the inaugural Pro Darts Showdown Series can show youngsters across the globe that darts can compete alongside the more popular sports such as football, rugby and basketball.

"This tournament will be a big boost for darts in Australia and in general having US and international players there to show that 'this could be you' if you put the time in and concentrate and give your best effort," the 43-year-old said.

"This will give the younger ones something to strive for. That's what it's all about.

"The reason I got with this company is so I could expand darts in the US and try to improve the standard so we can get to the level of the PDC.

"I won a lot of things in the US and that's paved the way for a lot of people already, so I figured if I would do this as well then I could maybe get events in the US like the one I have been invited to come to in Queensland.

"That's the whole goal for all of us try to get this sport as big as possible and kids growing up saying 'I want to be a professional darts player. I can make a living doing this. If I start at an early age I can get it done'."

While Kuczynski has not played on the professional PDC tour for a few years, he says he is not coming to Queensland just to make up the numbers and is looking to do well in Queensland.

"I have played with Phil and Kyle before in the same events," he said.

"I know the top players and, of course, I will be the underdog but I look forward to that.

"That's one of the things I like the best - being the underdog - and doing well."

The International Pro Darts Showdown Series begins in Brisbane on January 10-11 at the Royal International Convention Centre and rumbles on to the Gold Coast Events Centre at the Gold Coast Turf Club on January 17-18 and will move to Townsville Stadium on January 24-25 before finishing off at the Mackay Entertainment Centre on January 27-28.

Tickets are selling like hot cakes so get in fast so as to not be disappointed.

Tickets are available from Ticketek with further details at