Albuquerque native competing for shot in world darts spotlight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man who’s been taking aim and throwing darts for nearly four decades is now looking at what could be the chance of a lifetime to represent New Mexico on a world stage.

Matt Griego is one of just two known New Mexicans heading to Denver to compete in the American Darts Organization’s (ADO) national finals tournament. Whoever wins the tournament gets a spot on a U.S. team that will compete next year.

Watching Griego throw darts, the Albuquerque native makes it look easy.

“That’s all you’re using is just your arm,” said Griego. “You’re using just from your elbow to your wrist.”

Calling it, “his game,” Griego has been throwing darts for 39 years.

“This (game), I’d say, is a big part of my life,” said Griego.

While he claims that he was at the “top of his game” in 2001, Griego is still good at what he does. He recently qualified to represent New Mexico against some of the best dart players in the country.

“To make it to the nationals right now was the first step to that,” said Griego.

Next week, Griego heads to Denver to compete in the ADO national tournament. He’s competing for one of four spots on the U.S. national team, which will play in the “Americas Cup” tournament next year. The competition consists of the best players from North and South America.

“This is one I want to go real… I really want to go play in,” said Griego.

The possibility of representing the U.S. is a thrill for Griego, because at one point he gave up playing.

“I was out of darts for 10 years,” said Griego.

A death in the family kept him away, but Griego says he picked it up again to teach others about the game that’s given him a lot of great memories.

“I started playing when I was 16 and I got hooked,” said Griego.

The U.S. national dart tournament that Griego is competing in begins on Friday, October 13, 2017. If he wins, the Americas Cup tournament would send Griego to the Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos next year.

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