John Part, the two-time champion, overcame the brave challenge of Chris Mason to book a third-round date with Wayne Mardle at the Professional Darts Corporation World Championship.
In a match that more than lived up to expectations, the Canadian used all of his experience in Purfleet to clinch a 4-3 win over Mason.
Mardle, the English world No 6, had earlier secured a 4-1 victory over Erik Clarys, of Belgium. Part said: "Wayne's going to be well prepared, but you've got to remember I've been there and done it."
He started his match with Mason with a 113 checkout on his way to taking the opening set, but Mason was soon back on level terms. The Bristol-born player, now based in the Republic of Ireland, reeled off three straight legs with a three-dart average of 118.8.
The next two sets were shared before Part struck what looked to be a decisive blow with double eight, which moved him within one set of victory. But Mason's never-say-die attitude helped him to battle to a 3-1 success in the sixth set, only for Part to raise his game in the next. He took a two-leg lead and, although "Mase the Ace" pulled one back, Part closed out the match with a 72 checkout.
There were also second-round wins for Andy Hamilton, Andy Smith and Alan Warriner-Little.
Gary Welding, who caused a major upset with his first-round win over the world No 1 Colin Lloyd, was the first player through to the quarter-finals thanks to a 4-2 victory over the American John Kuczynski.