My name is Kevin "KJ" Jinkensen. First off I would like to thank Dart Brokers for even considering me to be part of their amazing team. I am truly honored. My story probably didn't start out like most others I've read. I didn't pick up a handful of darts on my first night and throw 180s or hat tricks or anything like that. Matter of fact I've been playing darts since the early 90s and for the first 7 or 8 years if I even said I was an average player I'd be stretching the truth. My Brother Steve asked me to play on his steel tip team and I only did it so I could hang out with him. Boy, I had no idea what the future would hold from there on.
By early 2000 I picked up my first soft tip dart. I started playing in draws at a local place called Double Play Saloon in the South suburbs of Chicago. Somehow something clicked and I know what it was. Confidence. Plain and simple. It was then my friend Rick Martus asked me to play at a state tournament. What? There's more than this? We were fairly successful. Wow! I'm officially hooked. I would constantly search out the better players and challenge them and my game improved even more. Now I have never been blessed with "raw" talent or even great mechanics for that matter, I believe this is where I developed a strong mental toughness and an extreme desire to win, which I think make up for these shortcomings.
Turn the page a few years and I started playing and traveling as much as my time off from work would allow. For example many sanctioned leagues, blind draws and local steel tip events. I started attending the NDA, ADA and Bullshooter Finals and national events. My first taste of the big time came when I played in the finals of the open cricket in the "bullpen" with my friend Jim Ross. We lost that one but the desire to play at the highest level and with the best people was ingrained from then on. Some of my highlights came the next few years, taking 3rd in masters singles cricket in NDA in Vegas and many other top 10 finishes at the masters level. Ohter highlights include all of the times in the bullpen, including winning the open cricket doubles at Bullshooter Finals with another good friend Ron Johnson, and a lot of titles and high finishes at ADA Nationals over the years. More recent highlights include runner up in the Monsters of the Midway 2011 4 man pro A/AA and taking 5th in masters '01 and top 10 in masters cricket with my new friend and Dart Broker sponsoree Danny Delfino. I've also gained valuable experience from some overseas travel to Holland, for the European Bullshooter, to Japan, once for the TIGA Grand Prix, once for Asia Bullshooter, and Hong Kong for World Stage 5 last year. I want to thank players like Ray Carver, Scott Kirchner, Rob Heckman and Rick Espinosa for setting an example of how to conduct myself in a professional manner in that environment. I must not forget to thank Mr. Koichiro Ueda of TIGA for his grand hospitality during my visits.
That brings me to the present. I currently feel that I'm extremely lucky to play in an area with such incredible talent around me in the Chicago area. There literally is some sort of tournament or draw within an hour drive every day of the week where there are no easy matches. I know this is what drives any players game in a positive direction. For the future, I want to continue to play in all sanctioned organizations' National and International tournaments, including Medalist which is the only one in which I haven't had the opportunity to test myself. I want to also continue to travel abroad and gain more experience. I truly believe I can bring my game to another level with a renewed dedication and commitment. Thanks again Dart Brokers.