The connections were not helped by some rudimentary technological fixes, including a suggestion that Welshman Jamie ‘Fireball’ Lewis had taped his camera phone to a door handle to provide the necessary images.
Lewis provided the shock of the evening with a 5-1 thrashing of world champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, who was sporting a multicoloured Mohican hairstyle with the logo of the National Health Service (NHS) on his scalp.
“It’s very difficult as you can’t read your opponent’s body language,” said Wright, the world No.2, of defeat to an opponent who ended the evening top of the group and through to the last 32.
Two other top performers had already been ruled out by poor connections. Two-times PDC world champion Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson said his Wi-Fi was just not reliable enough.
“It doesn’t surprise me. I struggle to pay bills online in my house, it’s really frustrating,” he had told the Sun newspaper.
World No.1 Michael van Gerwen was another big absentee, the Dutchman telling RTL7 television that his home life made it impossible.
“It has to be quiet but with a newborn baby, a child of two-and-a-half years and three dogs, it really won’t work,” he said.
There were no rolling calls of “180”,with the players relaying their scores to a remote commentator whose own connection occasionally went missing.