Defending champion Andy Fordham was knocked out of the Lakeside World Championship in the first round by Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.
World Darts Championship, Lakeside, 1-9 January
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Fordham, who has struggled for fitness and form, was leading 2-1 but Van der Voort raised his game and drew level.
The eighth seed maintained his high standards and went on to seal a 3-2 win over 'the Viking' at Frimley Green.
He now faces Tony Eccles in the second round after the Englishman beat 2002 champion Tony David, of Australia, 3-2.
Ultimately it may have been lack of match practice that found out Fordham, who missed the Dutch Open and the World Trophy because of chest pains and a broken wrist respectively.
He was also forced to retire from the highly-publicised showdown with PDC rival Phil Taylor when suffering from heat exhaustion.
"Fair play to Vincent, he played very well," said the 42-year-old.
"He's a quick player and I'm slower and he played his game. Unfortunately I wasn't good enough on the day.
"It's just one of those things. I came to Frimley Green feeling really well and playing well."
Top seed Raymond Van Barneveld cruised into the second round with an easy 3-0 win over Scotland's Gary Anderson.
The Dutchman was in magnificent form throughout as he started his campaign in impressive style.
John 'Boy' Walton, who won this event in 2001, also eased into the second round with a 3-1 victory over Dave Routledge.
He will play fifth seed Darryl Fitton, who beat Gary Robson by the same scoreline.
The 34-year-old Eccles trailed David 2-0 in the tournament's opening match, but he hit back to take the last three sets to secure his first victory at the event in four attempts.
'The Viper' struggled with his finishing early on but improved as the 'Deadly Boomerang' started to fade and was not to be denied a superb win.
Scotland captain Mike Veitch edged through 3-2 in a dour encounter with England's Shaun Greatbatch, while ladies' champion Trina Gulliver began her campaign for a fifth consecutive crown with a 2-0 win over Anne Kirk.