DIOGO PORTELA became the first Brazilian to record a win on the PDC European Tour as the HappyBet German Darts Championship began on Friday.
Rio-born Portela, who has moved from his native Brazil to the UK in a bid to make his breakthrough in the sport, qualified for his first European Tour event recently and made a winning start to life on stage.
The 28-year-old defeated German youngster Martin Schindler 6-3 in their first round clash at Halle 39 in Hildesheim, taking out a 109 finish and hitting three 180s to move through to face Kim Huybrechts on Saturday.
Nottingham-based Paul Harvey also enjoyed a winning debut on the European Tour with an impressive 6-2 defeat of left-hander Ryan Meikle, hitting seven 180s and averaging 102.78 as he progresses to a second round tie with Benito van de Pas.
There was an agonising defeat for another debutant, though, as Michael Plooy lost out 6-5 to Christian Kist, who had seen the newcomer take out 146 and 160 to lead 3-1 early on.
Kist hit back to lead 5-3, and though Plooy forced a decider it was the former Lakeside Champion who survived a missed match dart before taking out 106 to edge through.
Poland's Krzysztof Ratajski now plays UK Open runner-up Gerwyn Price following his strong 6-2 win over Dutch youngster Ryan De Vreede, while Ireland's Mick McGowan defeated Greece's John Michael by the same scoreline to set up a second round tie with Jelle Klaasen.
David Pallett averaged almost 100 as he defeated Finland's Veijo Viinikka 6-1, with John Bowles and Richie Corner enjoying 6-2 wins over Stefan Stoyke and Kirk Shepherd respectively.
The evening session of day one kicked off with Dimitri Van den Bergh securing a hard-fought win over Adam Hunt in a clash of two players who won on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour last weekend.
Hunt moved in to a commanding 4-2 lead before Van den Bergh strung together four legs in a row to secure the win, with the Belgian averaging over 96 on his way to booking a second round clash with Dave Chisnall.
Dutchman Jan Dekker also had to come from behind as he beat debutant Chris Quantock 6-5, battling back from 5-4 behind to secure a spot in the second round, where he will face Michael Smith.
The third match of the evening session saw Paul Nicholson return to the European Tour with a 6-2 win over Ryan Searle.
The former Players Champion hadn’t appeared on the European Tour for three years, but put in a professional performance with a 90 average to set up a tie with Cristo Reyes in round two.
There were also difficult wins for Mervyn King, Jamie Bain and Kevin Painter, who beat Michael Rasztovits, Chris Dobey and Stephen Burton in last leg deciders on the £135,000 tournament's opening night.
Darren Johnson - a Players Championship runner-up recently - made light work of Robert Allenstein averaging 97.91 in a 6-1 victory to move through and face James Wade.
Jermaine Wattimena ended home hopes in style as he brushed past Bernd Roith in impressive style.
The Dutchman averaged 102.21 and hit 67% of his attempts at doubles to set up a second round encounter with world number one and World Champion Michael van Gerwen.
The HappyBet German Darts Championship will continue on Saturday with the second round held across two sessions, and will be broadcast online for PDCTV-HD Subscribers worldwide through www.livepdc.tv, and also streamed through a series of bookmakers' websites.
WATCH THE HAPPYBET GERMAN DARTS CHAMPIONSHIP
PDCTV-HD - www.livepdc.tv for all PDCTV-HD Subscribers Worldwide
Live coverage with faster streams may be available at the following websites:
Bet365 - www.bet365.com - Worldwide
Betfair - www.betfair.com - Brazil, Denmark, England, Ireland, Northern ireland, Scotland, Spain, Wales
Betfred - www.betfred.com - England, Ireland, Northern ireland, Scotland, Wales
bwin - www.bwin.com - Worldwide
Fonbet - www.fonbet.com - Armenia, Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Russian federation, Ukraine
Marathonbet - www.betmarathon.com - Belarus, Russian federation, Spain, Ukraine
Napoleon - www.napoleongames.be - Belgium
Sazka - www.sazka.cz/kurzove-sazky/ - Czech Republic
Unibet - www.unibet.com - Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom.
William Hill - www.williamhill.com - United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, Spain, Sweden & Germany
HappyBet German Darts Championship
Friday March 24
Richie Corner 6-2 Kirk Shepherd
Ryan Meikle 4-6 Paul Harvey
David Pallett 6-1 Veijo Viinikka
John Bowles 6-2 Stefan Stoyke
Ryan De Vreede 2-6 Krzysztof Ratajski
John Michael 2-6 Mick McGowan
Diogo Portela 6-3 Martin Schindler
Michael Plooy 5-6 Christian Kist
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-4 Adam Hunt
Jan Dekker 6-5 Chris Quantock
Paul Nicholson 6-2 Ryan Searle
Mervyn King 6-5 Michael Rasztovits
Darren Johnson 6-1 Robert Allenstein
Jamie Bain 6-5 Chris Dobey
Jermaine Wattimena 6-1 Bernd Roith
Kevin Painter 6-5 Stephen Burton
Saturday March 25
Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm local time, 12pm-4pm UK time)
Gerwyn Price v Krzysztof Ratajski
Ian White v John Bowles
Jelle Klaasen v MickMcGowan
Michael Smith v Jan Dekker
Cristo Reyes v Paul Nicholson
Kim Huybrechts v Diogo Portela
Stephen Bunting v David Pallett
Alan Norris v Richie Corner
Evening Session (7pm-11pm local time, 6pm-10pm UK time)
James Wade v Darren Johnson
Dave Chisnall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Benito van de Pas v Paul Harvey
Peter Wright v Christian Kist
Michael van Gerwen v Jermaine Wattimena
Mensur Suljovic v Mervyn King
Simon Whitlock v Kevin Painter
Joe Cullen v Jamie Bain