First to go was Steve Beaton, shot from the sky by former cabin steward Mile High Mark Hylton in a 5 set thriller on Thursday 16th.
Friday 17th and Co Stompe became the second of the big names to face the final curtain. Regrets? He'd have had a few - missed doubles, and by no means too few to mention. Stompe's double trouble cost him dearly, with six misses for the first set allowing Wright to take it and more missed doubles to compound the loss. Stompe had to dig deep in the 3rd set just to avoid a whitewash, and eventually succumbed 3-1.
The same evening almost witnessed another major upset when Colin "Jaws" Lloyd took on Andree Welge. Lloydie was cruising at 2 sets to Nil when Welge, like James Bond pushing the button on the dashboard that somehow turns a 1985 Mini Metro into Thrust SSC, reeled off 8 legs on the spin to go 2 legs up in a 5th set decider. By now Lloyd had a face like Vince Cable reading the morning paper and a major upset looked on the cards, but Welge missed 3 darts for the match and Jaws managed to snatch victory from the gaping maw of defeat.
Saturday saw the arrival of the brief but bizarrely popular phenomenon that was Morohiro Hashimoto. Hashimoto won his preliminary round before being comprehensively spanked by Gary Anderson, losing in straight sets without winning a leg. Hashimoto, who seemed a little overwhelmed by his popularity with the crowd, is a great character and I hope we see more of him, but was I the only one thinking...
Anyway, Sunday saw the next mega-homicide as 3 time World Champion John Part, who, it has to be said, was not very well, went down to unknown Dane Per Laursen in straight sets, whilst Monday saw my girlfriend feeling a sense of justice as James Wade beat Antonio Alcinas, also in straight sets - I just thought I'd mention that, as she's sat next to me, prodding me and glaring :o)
Jelle Klaasen became the next high profile victim, losing to Steve Brown. This one doesn't exactly (in my book) count as a Giant Killing, since Klaasen and Brown are not far apart in the rankings, but Klaasen, the youngest ever (BDO) World Champion, has had more sucess in high profile tournaments than Brown and is a prominent name, so I thought I'd mention him. Brown took the match by 3 sets to 1.
However, if Michael van Gerwen has been asking Santa to bring him some tournament success then one can only conclude he's been checked twice and put on the naughty list. Mighty Mike lost to Austrian Mensur Suljovic by 3 sets to 1 in Tuesday's other Giant Killing, although van Gerwen has been so far from top form lately that again I almost hesitate to classify it as such. Van Gerwen, the youngest ever player to win a major televised tournament, has really been playing below his best lately. Perhaps he should go back to throwing darts in the worst crap-hole he can find. After all, it worked for Rocky... :o)
From that point on the Giants have been able to sleep soundly in their beds, with no further upsets being recorded, and the stage is set for a cracking second round when play resumes on Monday 27th December.
Right, it's time for me to close the ledger, slap on my top-hat and run home to my cheerful-yet-poor family for Christmas. Well, sort of... :o)
Merry Christmas All!