Matthew Selt won Group 2 of the 2015 Championship League after beating Judd Trump 3-2 in the final at Crondon Park on Thursday.
The Englishman continued his good form of late to book his place in next month’s Winners’ Group, where the overall champion will earn an invitation into the lucrative Champion of Champions later this year.
Selt, the Lisbon Open runner-up in December, only entered the tournament as a late replacement for an ill Neil Robertson and duly took full advantage.
The 29 year-old, who has also qualified for the upcoming German Masters and reached the last 16 of the UK Championship, won only half of his six matches in the round-robin phase to squeeze into the semi-finals, before a brace of deciding frame victories brought him glory.
Indeed, Selt superbly came back from 2-0 down in the last four to Ali Carter, who had earlier emerged from the group stage as the top seed with four wins – which included an excellent 138 century.
Defending champion Trump, who came so close to exiting the competition early in Group 1 when he lost his opening four bouts, had beaten Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in the semi-finals but didn’t pot a ball in the deciding frame against Selt.
The two-time winner advances to Group 3, though, alongside Fu, Carter and Stuart Bingham, who finished fifth in the group.
They’ll be joined by three newcomers Mark Davis, Ryan Day and Ricky Walden, with the event taking place the day after the Masters concludes on Monday week.
For now, attention turns to the prestigious invitation tournament at Alexandra Palace, where the world’s best 16 players mount their challenge to lift the coveted trophy.