Barneveld opens with win
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD began the defence of his PartyPoker.net Las Vegas Desert Classic title with a whitewash over Matt Clark at the Mandalay Bay Resort on Thursday night.
The Dutchman claimed the title in Las Vegas 12 months ago, and never looked in trouble in seeing off the Manchester-based qualifier in straight sets.
Van Barneveld included a 118 finish on his way to the win, and praised his finishing following the victory.
"Matt had chances to win two or three legs but you have to hit your doubles and I did that," said van Barneveld. "I can score better than this but my doubles were great and I^m pleased with that.
"It^s a year since I^ve won a major tournament and hopefully this is the start of a good week."
Van Barneveld used a pair of earplugs to aid his concentration during the game, and added: "The crowd are quite quiet but occasionally you hear little noises and it can put you off, so I put them in.
"In front of thousands of people in the UK it^s different and you manage to focus despite the noise, but it worked for me."
Stoke duo Andy Hamilton and Adrian Lewis both booked their places in round two earlier in the day, following contrasting games.
averaged over 100 in an excellent 6-1 victory over Canada’s Shawn Brenneman, while Lewis twice came from behind to level before edging out Robert Thornton 6-5.
Mark Walsh also won a deciding leg thriller against American Bill Davis, while Jelle Klaasen stormed into the last 16 with a 6-1 defeat of Gerry Convery.