What is the ‘Deller Checkout’ in darts terminology?

In short, the so-called ‘Deller Checkout’ is a darts out-shot combination consisting of treble 20, treble 18 and double 12, making a total of 138. It is named after Keith Deller who, in 1983, hit the shot to defeat Eric Bristow in the final of the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Darts Championship at Jollees, Stoke-on-Trent. During what is widely considered a ‘golden age’ of darts, Deller, 23, was virtually unknown to the wider public but, nonetheless, qualified for the World Championship and took his place in the line-up alongside household names such as Bristow, John Lowe and John ‘Jocky’ Wilson.

Deller gained momentum as the week went on, defeating Lowe 4-3 in the quarter-final and Wilson 5-3 in the semi-final, to bring about an unlikely showdown with Bristow in the best-of-11 sets final. With the scores poised at 5-5, Deller took a 2-1 lead in the deciding set, such that Bristow was throwing to keep his chances alive. After nine darts apiece in the fourth leg, both players were on a finish, Bristow on 121 and Deller on 138. ‘The Crafty Cockney’, as Bristow was known, duly hit single 17, treble 18 to leave the bullseye to win the leg. However, he opted instead for the ‘percentage’ shot, single 18 to leave double 16 and his next throw.

Yet, his next throw failed to materialise. Deller hit treble 20, treble 18 and double 12 to win 6-5 and, in so doing, become the first qualifier in history to win the BDO World Darts Championship. Commentating on, arguably, the biggest upset in the history of the Championship, the inimitable ‘Voice of Darts’ Sid Waddell said, ‘Bristow did the percentage shot, Deller did the business.’

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