We are just about a month away from Premier Cup III and of course the question on everyone’s mind is: Will Jeremiah be able to pull off a 3-peat? I figured it was the perfect time to get him to agree to an interview.
He is the man, the myth and as he continues on his journey achieving great things in darts, I do not doubt that he will eventually attain “legend” status. He is Jeremiah Millar, sometimes affectionately known by many of his friends as “Miah”, but is also known even more as “Beast”. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he brings a beast-like demeanor to the line every time he competes.
But when you enter the name Jeremiah in the Urban Dictionary, the term “Jeremiah” means: “Pimp” or “Greatness” or even “Playa”. Jeremiah is definitely a “playa” when it comes to Premier Cup. While winning and placing in many events over the years has brought him a small bit of fame in the darts world, nothing can compare to the win of the inaugural Premier Cup in 2015. But what makes him even more akin to the “Greatness” meaning of his name is that despite the list of “elite” players invited to this event, Jeremiah went on to win Premier Cup II.
Jeremiah is currently sponsored by a number of different companies: RedEye Rhino, The Dart Zone, Cosmo Darts, Fit Flight and Gametime Amusements.
Jeremiah maintains a rather busy schedule with his new job in Kentucky, but after much prodding on my part via Facebook messages, I was able to get him to finally sit down and answer a few questions. Generally, I will edit the replies and format the questions and answers into a conversation, but Jeremiah did such a great job answering all the questions, that I decided to just keep the interview in its original format, so you can truly get the feeling behind his responses.
How long have you been playing darts for? I have been playing steel tip for 19 years and soft tip for 8 years.
Do you have any nicknames? Beast
How many hours do you practice a day? I really do not practice much anymore due to my work schedule. When I first started playing, I would play 7 days a week and could not get enough time on the board. When I have a big tournament I will practice for several hours a night for 2 weeks. I find it important to not burn yourself out and make sure you do not play too much where you do not have a desire to play.
Do you practice with anyone or by yourself? I seldom practice by myself, but when I do, I focus on my mechanics. The majority of the time I am playing online.
Is there a specific practice routine that you follow? For the most part, I will utilize online play for my practice. I believe it provides you real game play situations such as having to adapt to different strategies, pace of play and sometimes even nerves. The most important part of my practice routine is I throw every dart with purpose. If you do not, you will develop bad habits which will translate in your tournament play.
Are you superstitious? Are there things you will do or certain clothes you will wear based on prior wins? I don’t think I am superstitious for the most part. I did however choose not to wear my Premier Cup champion’s jersey to the 2nd Premier Cup event. I was worried that it might jinx me or maybe give my opponent another reason to want to beat me.
What’s the best advice anyone has given to you? You have to learn how to lose before you will learn how to win. It took me a long time to understand this. I always thought that if you were learning how to lose, you were a loser. What I did not realize was how you handle a loss would either allow you to grow from the experience or you continue to let history repeat itself. I believe that you have to learn from every loss and make sure to understand what you must do differently to avoid a repeat.
What is your most favorite event that you have competed in? I have been fortunate and been able to travel all around the world to play darts. I have been all around the USA, Spain, Hong Kong and London, England. I would say playing the Winmau World Masters in England was my favorite experience. I have never felt nerves like that before. First of all, you are playing some of the best players from all around the world. Second, you are traveling that far and the last thing you want is to lose first round. My perception of darts changed forever. I understood the standard if you want to compete with some of the best in the world. I believe I was a much stronger player after this experience.
So, you travel to many tournaments and get to compete against a lot of different players. Out of all those players, who are the players that you love to win against? Honestly, I just love to win no matter who I play. Anyone that knows me well knows that I am one of the most competitive people you will meet. I believe this is what helps drive me. I hate losing more than I like to win and I believe that is what drives me!
When you get called to a match, do you have different thoughts based on who you are called against? I think you should approach every match the same. Of course there are certain very high profile matches, but you have to keep the same mindset. I used to play the player and found myself playing to my opponent's ability and that took a while to overcome. Now I set my own standard and throw every dart as if it was my last.
Do you get nervous at all? How do you handle the nerves and anxiety of a tough match? Absolutely, I get nervous and that comes from expectations I put on myself. The more I win, the higher the expectation I have, which means more anxiety. This usually happen leading up to the tournament. Once I am warming up, I am able to settle in and focus on the task at hand. I do enjoy a few beverages to calm the nerves, but definitely have to learn how to manage that over a long day of darts. If not managed correctly it will be your downfall.
Is there one particular player that seems to get you every time you play against them? I don’t believe so. Everyone always has that one guy that you can never seem to beat until you beat them once. After that, you start believing in your own abilities and nobody has that power over you. If you feel like you cannot win, you are defeated before you throw a dart. You might push them, but when you have an opportunity to win you will get in your own way and most likely defeat yourself.
Are there any players that you get great satisfaction out of winning against? I really enjoy beating someone who tells me I cannot win. When I am told I cannot do something it will drive me until I am successful. Anyone that knows me will tell you not to challenge me or poke the bear, so to speak.
When you were first invited to the inaugural Premier Cup last year, how did you feel about it? Did you feel that you had a good chance to win it? Last year I was very excited to be involved in the event. It was one of a kind and was really a “put your money where your mouth is” type of event. I was playing extremely well before the cup and believed that if I was to play my game that I could win. I also knew that there were 15 others that could do the same, so it was going to come down to two things: First, how each of the players prepared for the event and how confident they were with their game. Second, it might come down to who won the last cork. I was also very tuned into social media and I know there were many people who didn’t believe I was going to win. I used that as my motivation!
When you did win it, did it rank up there with some of the biggest wins of your career in darts? I believe it was my largest payday in a single event. I also believe it had a lot of exposure and was one of my favorite wins. Who in their right mind would put up $2,000 at a chance to win only $15,000? I say only because the ratio does not make sense when you look at the risk. What did make sense was what the tournament stood for. So many social media posts of who was the best in the country. This tournament definitely helped establish myself as one of the top players in the country.
When you were invited to Premier Cup II, did you ever think at any time that you could win it again? To be honest, I have never had as much anxiety leading up to a tournament. This tournament means so much to me that I wanted nothing more than to repeat. I think there were so many people that did not believe I could do the unthinkable and win again. With my current work situation, I was not prepared going into the cup and I believe that showed in my performance. I am working in another state and the city I work in does not have a single soft tip dart board. I was not mentally ready and my performance was inconsistent. I was happy with how I responded in difficult situations and was able to hit the shots when needed.
When you won Premier Cup II-back to back events-how did you feel? I was extremely relieved and emotional. I wanted this so badly that I only slept for a few hours each night. I could think about nothing but raising that cup for the second time and I wanted to be the only champion. I know it sounds selfish, but I did not want to share that with anyone. I also wanted to prove to everyone that the first one was not a fluke. It meant so much that I made a mistake that I never do! I let my emotions get to me before the match was over. When I needed 3 bulls to win and hit a double bull with the first dart and I missed the next 2 darts. When David missed and left me with 1 bull for the win, I was extremely emotional and started pumping up the crowd. I went to the board full of emotion and missed my first dart and it was in a terrible spot, 1 hole high right in the middle. I didn’t hesitate and quickly threw the second dart to only miss again. Now that excitement quickly turned to anger. I could not believe I let myself slip and now I needed 1 bull with 1 dart or I lose and all the momentum changes. I quickly moved right on the line and finally hit the last bull. I immediately fell to my knees overcome with emotion. I could not believe I was able to repeat with all that I had been battling. It took me about a week for it to hit me.