Judd Trump won Group 2 of the Championship League on Thursday to join Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Winners’ Group at Crondon Park.
Trump only just squeaked into the semi-finals after finishing fourth in the round-robin phase.
He managed just three victories from his six encounters but narrowly progressed ahead of Ricky Walden thanks to a superior frames difference.
World no.1 Mark Selby had looked in imperious form as he advanced with a perfect record, but was left to rue his second frame against Trump in the last four when he left his opponent in the snooker’s required stage only to go on and surrender the advantage.
That gave Trump a 2-0 cushion in the short best of five format and he duly compiled a 79 break to reach the final.
There, the Englishman faced Mark Williams, who had also enjoyed a whitewash win in his semi-final tie with Joe Perry.
Trump again took a 2-0 lead before the Welshman responded with a century run of 103.
A reply in kind from the 26 year-old sealed the victory, though, giving Trump a boost in confidence ahead of next week’s lucrative Masters at Alexandra Palace.
Five Championship League groups remain to be decided before the finale in early March.
Williams, Selby, Perry and fifth place Walden live to fight another day but Barry Hawkins and Robert Milkins are eliminated after finishing bottom of Group 2.
Stephen Maguire, Marco Fu and Michael White are set to join the tournament in Group 3, which takes place in a fortnight.