Chris Mason (darts player)
|Full name||Christopher John Mason|
|Nickname||Mace the Ace|
17 December 1969 |
|Playing darts since||1990|
|Darts||24g Custom Made|
|Walk-on music||Ace of Spades by Motörhead|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|BDO||1995–1996, 1998–2001, 2015-2016|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Semi Final: 1999, 2000|
|World Masters||Semi Final: 2000|
|Int. Darts League||Preliminary Stage: 2007|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Quarter Final: 2003|
|World Matchplay||Semi Final: 1998|
|World Grand Prix||Quarter Final: 1999, 2000, 2004|
|Grand Slam||Group Stage: 2007|
|Ch'ship League||Initial Groups, 7th, 2008|
|Desert Classic||Quarter Final: 2006|
|European Ch'ship||Last 32: 2008|
|UK Open||Quarter Final: 2005|
|US Open/WSoD||Quarter Final: 2008|
|Players Ch'ship Finals||Last 32: 2009|
|Other tournament wins|
Vauxhall Autumn Open
Vauxhall Spring Open
West Tyrone Open
UK Open Regionals Regional Finals (SOU)
BDO and first PDC spell
He began his career in the British Darts Organisation, making his World Championship debut at the 1996 BDO World Championship. He lost 0–3 to Andy Fordham. After joining the World Darts Council in 1996, Mason competed in the 1996 World Matchplay, losing to Alan Warriner. In October 1996, Mason reached the final of the Sky Sports World Pairs partnered by Steve Raw, where they were narrowly beaten by Phil Taylor and Bob Anderson. Mason then competed in the 1997 WDC World Championship, where he lost 1–3 to Gerald Verrier and 0–3 to Phil Taylor in the group stage.
Shortly after the BDO and PDC agreed the Tomlin Order in June 1997, some BDO players participated in the World Matchplay event between 1997 and 2001, and in the World Grand Prix event between 1998 and 2001. Mason went back to playing in the BDO World Championship after the Tomlin Order, but continued to play in other PDC televised majors outside of their World Championship. After a second round defeat in the BDO world championships in 1998, he went on to reach the semi finals of the 1998 World Matchplay, narrowly losing 11–13 to Ronnie Baxter. The following year, Mason reached the quarter finals of the 1999 World Matchplay, losing 11–16 to Phil Taylor. Mason also reached the quarter finals of the World Grand Prix events in 1999 and 2000, losing to Peter Manley and Phil Taylor respectively.
Mason enjoyed his best achievement in the 1999 BDO World Championship, when he recovered from 1–4 down in sets in his best-of-nine quarter-final match against Martin Adams, survived many match darts against him before eventually winning 5-4 in sets, winning by 6–4 in legs in the deciding set. This match is regarded as one of the best matches on television. He lost the semi-final 2–5 to reigning BDO World Champion, Raymond van Barneveld, three of those sets on deciding legs.
Mason avenged the defeat to van Barneveld the following year by beating van Barneveld 3–1 in the first round, averaging over 100. Mason also beat Fordham in the quarter-finals before losing 4–5 to Ted Hankey in the semi-finals, after leading 4–2. This match holds the 180 record for a 9 set match with 38 180's hit in the match, 16 of them from Mason, marking the second consecutive year that he had lost to the eventual champion in the semi-finals.
Mason's last appearance at Lakeside was a first round defeat to Mervyn King in 2001. He also reached the semi final of the BDO's other major tournament, the Winmau World Masters in 2000, losing to the eventual champion, John Walton.
Mason hit the perfect 9 dart game in the last 32 stage of the Winmau World Masters, watched by good friend Bobby George, who said "it was OK apart from the treble 19 wasn't quite in the middle".
In late 2001, the news came through that virtually all PDC televised tournaments would be closed off to players who did not play in the PDC World Darts Championship. As a result, Mason became one of the "Skol Six" who decided to play the PDC World Championship from 2002 onwards, so that they could continue to play in other PDC televised events.
Mason lost in the first round of the 2002 PDC World Championship to Dave Askew, but reached the quarter finals in 2003 – losing to eventual champion, John Part. He missed most tournaments in 2003 and 2004 while he served a prison sentence – but he returned to play in the 2004 World Grand Prix in October, and reached the quarter-finals of the event for the third time, this time losing to Steve Beaton.
Mason has many titles to his name including the Irish Masters and the Vauxhall Pro Open on 3 occasions. Mason won the Irish Masters which was screened by Sky and also has lifted the Scottish Open and the English Open titles to his impressive résumé. Mason was Taylor's opposition at the 2002 World Matchplay when Taylor hit the first nine-dart finish to be televised live on British screens.
Whilst commentating on the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts, on broadcaster ITV, Mason announced that he intended to retire from darts following the forthcoming qualifying rounds of the 2011 PDC World Championship, declaring that "even if I do qualify, which is unlikely, the World Championships will be my swansong". It was later announced by the PDC that he declined the opportunity of a Pro Tour Card for 2011, effectively confirming his decision – although he would be eligible to compete in qualifiers for Pro Tour event or switch to the BDO circuit instead. Chris has recently hinted that he may get back into darts but it would be a very professional job stating that he would begin to give 100% as he claimed he only gave 70% during his career.
2012, out of retirement
In January 2012, he entered the Professional Darts Corporation Pro Tour 'Q School' qualifying tournament. Over the four days Chris did not get a Tour Card but can play in all UK Open and European events as an associate member of the PDC.
Mason's personal life has been under much scrutiny. Mason was convicted of assault and assault with intent to resist arrest in March 1990 and sentenced to 180 hours community service. This was followed by a three-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months for actual bodily harm and, in August 1993, by three years' probation for assault causing actual bodily harm.
On 14 April 2003, Mason and two friends Mark and Simon Gibson, were found guilty of aggravated burglary with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The victim of the attack, Poole scaffolder Neal Harley, was left with a broken nose, scalp cuts, facial swelling and bruising. The attack, which was sparked by a Yorkshire terrier dog named Doris which Mark Gibson had bought for Harley's fiancee Jane Graham while they were having a relationship some years earlier and had been "hostile" towards her new boyfriends. On 3 April 2002, Ms Graham had agreed to care for the dog but later returned it as it behaved too aggressively. Prosecutor, Mark Worsley, said that because of this Mark Gibson decided to confront Mr Harley and turned up that night with a hammer and his accomplices, saying: "Come on boys, let's do him". The Gibson brothers received five- and six-year sentences and Mason received a three-year sentence on 2 June 2003, but he served just over a year.
2007 World championship
Mason hit the headlines for criticising Phil Taylor in the newspapers before their last 16 match at the 2007 World Championship and allegedly swearing at him during the post-match handshake on-stage after Taylor beat him 4–0. He did apologise to Taylor after the tournament ended, but received a £750 fine and a four-month ban (suspended for 12 months) from the Darts Regulation Authority.
In June 2010, he was given a community order at Newcastle Magistrates Court for benefit fraud charges after he admitted to not declaring £45,000 of winnings between 2006 and 2007 while claiming benefits. He had been arrested whilst preparing to compete at the UK Open televised tournament.
In 2007, Mason became one of ITV's pundits on the inaugural Grand Slam of Darts, initially alongside the 1996 BDO World Champion, Steve Beaton, but since then by the 2001 World Grand Prix champion and 1993 World Championship runner-up, Alan Warriner-Little. It was ITV's return to broadcasting tournament darts after an absence of over a decade. Mason has remained a feature of ITV's darts coverage as a match summariser and co-commentator during ITV's coverage of the Grand Slam of Darts up to 2010, the European Championship, the Players Championship Finals, The Masters, as well as the UK Opens from 2014 onwards.
World Championship performances
- 1996: 1st Round (lost to Andy Fordham 0–3)
- 1998: 2nd Round (lost to Peter Johnstone 0–3)
- 1999: Semi Finals (lost to Raymond van Barneveld 2–5)
- 2000: Semi Finals (lost to Ted Hankey 4–5)
- 2001: 1st Round (lost to Mervyn King 2–3)
- 1997: Last 24 Group (lost to Gerald Verrier 1-3) & (lost to Phil Taylor 0-3)
- 2002: 1st Round (lost to Dave Askew 3–4)
- 2003: Quarter Finals (lost to John Part 0-5)
- 2005: 3rd Round (lost to Colin Lloyd 3–4)
- 2006: 2nd Round (lost to John Part 3-4)
- 2007: 3rd Round (lost to Phil Taylor 0–4)
- 2008: 2nd Round (lost to Kevin Painter 0–4)
- 2009: 1st Round (lost to John Magowan 0–3)
|BDO World Championship||L32||DNP||L16||SF||SF||L32||No longer a BDO Member|
|Winmau World Masters||DNP||L32||L32||SF||L16||No longer a BDO Member|
|International Darts League||Not held||DNP||Prelim||NH|
|PDC World Championship||DNP||L24G||DNP||L32||QF||DNP||L16||L32||L16||L32||L64|
|World Grand Prix||Not held||DNP||QF||QF||DNP||L16||DNP||QF||DNP||L32||L16||L32||DNP|
|Las Vegas Desert Classic||Not held||DNP||L32||QF||DNP|
|UK Open||Not held||DNP||QF||L64||L64||L32||L128|
|US Open||Not held||L64||QF||DNP|
|Grand Slam of Darts||Not held||L32G||DNP|
|European Championship||Not held||L32||DNP|
|Players Championship Finals||Not held||L32|
|Performance Table Legend|
|DNP||Did not play at the event||DNQ||Did not qualify for the event||NYF||Not yet founded||L#||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals||SF||lost in the semi-finals||RU||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
Mason took the decision to move from Kilkenny, Ireland to Stoke-on-Trent late in 2006. A few top players had made Stoke their home and Mason made the move partly so he could practice with Andy Hamilton. However, shortly after the World Championship Hamilton switched to practising with Taylor – who broke off from mentoring Adrian Lewis. He currently resides in Wolverhampton.
He is married to Lorna and has three children, Yasmin (born 1995), Skye (born 1996) and Gypsy (born 2000), a pet dog and several Maine Coon cats. He is also a fan of Chelsea F.C.
- "Q School Entries Announced". Planet Dart. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
- MACE THE ACE JAILED FOR 3 YEARS; Darts champ in attack. freelibrary.com
- "Darts star faces jail for 'Horror Movie' assault". Thefreelibrary.com. 16 April 2003. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Mason v Taylor controversy 2006/07". BBC News. 28 December 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Mason apologises to Taylor". BBC News. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Mason receives suspended ban from Darts Regulation Authority (DRA)". Planetdarts.tv. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Darts player 'Mace the Ace' given community order for fraud This is Staffordshire]
- Darts pro Mace the Ace failed to declare his £45k winnings This is Staffordshire
- Mason moves to Stoke-on-Trent Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Hamilton gives credit to practice partner Mason". Sportinglife.com. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Planet Darts profile". Planetdarts.tv. Retrieved 21 April 2012.