Tony O'Shea said he was "embarrassed" after failing to win a single leg in his at the BDO World Darts Championships.
Third seed O'Shea, runner-up in each of the last two years, had been expected to challenge for the title in 2014.
But the 52-year-old was whitewashed by three-time champion Adams in just 23 minutes at the Lakeside Country Club.
"I don't ever remember playing that badly, even in my first league game in Stockport," O'Shea told BBC Sport.
"I'm just really disappointed with the performance. I don't mind losing, but to not even give him a game is pretty embarrassing to be honest.
"I don't want to take anything away from Martin. He played really steady. I'm just gutted that I didn't give him a game. That's the frustrating thing.
"I had a couple of chances early on but I just felt after four legs that it wasn't my day. It was one of those where you couldn't wait to get off.
"It would be brilliant if I had an excuse or a reason but I can't put my finger on anything. I was rubbish."
Adams produced a solid display, hitting 11-dart and 13-dart legs on his way to booking a second-round tie with Scotland's Ross Montgomery.
The 57-year-old, who needed to get through a preliminary round to take his place in the last 32, said: "I can't believe it - you don't do that to Tony O'Shea. He doesn't let you, but today he let me and I don't know why.
"You know he's going to come at you and you've got to be putting him under pressure all the time, then hopefully you'll come through on top 3-2. But 3-0, that's unreal."
As for O'Shea, the long wait to become world champion goes on.
'Silverback' has competed at Lakeside every year since 2002, reaching the final on three occasions, but a first world title still eludes one of the most popular players on the BDO circuit.
"I've been saying it for 13 years now - I'll be back next year," added O'Shea.
"If it's going to happen, it will happen one day.
"It seems to wind other people up but it doesn't bother me. I come here and I'll give it my best every year. It's not happened and it may never happen, but I'll still be trying."