Stuart Bingham and John Higgins safely negotiated the second round of the UK Championship on Saturday.
However, former champion Mark Williams crashed out in a decider after losing the final three frames to Tom Ford in a 6-5 defeat.
Irishman Ken Doherty, three times a runner-up in the tournament, also exited early following a 6-3 loss to Mark Davis, while top 16ers Ricky Walden and Joe Perry were sent packing as well.
World champion Bingham scored quite heavily as he ousted Anthony Hamilton 6-3, sealed with a superb 143 clearance which stands as the tournament-high so far.
Higgins tallied runs of 103, 96, 63, 60 and 55 in his 6-2 victory over Tian Pengfei but felt afterwards that there was still room for improvement.
The Scot is seeking his third ranking event success of the season, and fourth overall in 2015, as he attempts to land the second biggest ranking event for the first time in five years.
Williams, though, the player who Higgins overcame so dramatically to win the 2010 final, let slip a seemingly comfortable scenario with Ford to be prematurely dumped out of the competition.
Walden also lost in an eleventh frame shoot-out as he struggled with his scoring in defeat to Li Hang, while Joe Perry went down 6-3 to Robbie Williams.
However, 2008 finalists Shaun Murphy and Marco Fu had no such problems and dominated their opponents in 6-1 and 6-0 triumphs over China’s Zhou Yuelong and Yu Delu respectively.
Shanghai Masters champion Kyren Wilson also advanced, as did Martin Gould and David Gilbert – runners-up in the Australian Open and International Championship already during this campaign.
Amateur Adam Duffy couldn’t replicate his performance which ousted Ding Junhui on the opening day and he was denied a third round spot in a deciding frame by Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail.
Doherty, meanwhile, lost a couple of important close frames to Davis as he couldn’t capitalise on his promising outing with Tony Drago from the first round, when he knocked in a brace of tons.
In a battle of the Scots, Jamie Burnett got the better of veteran Alan McManus but Ross Muir was pipped to the post by England’s Ben Woollaston 6-5.
Elsewhere, China’s Liang Wenbo won the last five frames as he enjoyed a 6-2 victory over the much-improved Jimmy Robertson.
Finally, in one of the day’s best results, Jack Lisowski came from 5-2 down to overcome former world champion Graeme Dott and book his place in the last 32.
Lisowski has struggled for most of the last couple of seasons but has begun to show signs of improvement since he started working with renowned coach Terry Griffiths in the summer.
The remainder of the last 64 concludes on Sunday with the likes of Neil Robertson, Judd Trump and Mark Allen in action.
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