Justin Pipe has described his first major televised semi-final in the Cash Converters Players Championship as a "massive learning curve".
Somerset pro Pipe was beaten 11-6 by Belgian youngster Kim Huybrechts in the first of tonight's semi-finals at Butlins Minehead.
After two high-profile quarter-final exits this year, Pipe has enjoyed his best major tournament performance yet.
And despite the loss to Huybrechts, he has achieved his year's aim of getting into the PDC's world top ten.
Pipe, known as 'The Force', said he was delighted to climb to ninth in the world rankings, and put tonight's defeat down to a slow start in the early legs.
"It's my own fault, I was far too relaxed in the first three or four legs," said Pipe, from North Curry near Taunton.
"Those legs are so important to win, and not miss your doubles. Perhaps that might have made a difference if I had taken those first couple of legs.
"It's a massive learning curve and the right man won. I think Kim played better than me today and deserved to win."
Huybrechts led 4-1, and then 5-2 and 6-3 as Pipe struggled to close the gap after those opening legs.
Pipe then hit double 12 for a 101 checkout to reduce the deficit to two legs, but that was as close as he would get to the young Belgian.
Four successive legs for Huybrechts took him from 8-6 to 11-6, wrapping the match up with a sensational 11-darter.
Huybrechts went on to meet Phil Taylor in the final, but wasn't able to topple the 15-time world champion.
Watch Western Gazette sports editor Chris Sweet's exclusive video interview with Justin Pipe below...
CASH CONVERTERS PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP - IN PICTURES