Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan both won their opening qualifying round encounters for the European Masters in Preston on Tuesday.
Day two at the Guild Hall, however, claimed many casualties as the players attempted to move a step closer to the inaugural staging of a ranking event in Romania.
In a day of many deciders, Shanghai Masters semi-finalist Stephen Maguire was downed in a close encounter by Andrew Higginson.
Michael White and Joe Perry also exited in seven frames, bowing out at the hands of David Grace and Rory McLeod respectively as Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson and Martin Gould lost at the first qualifying hurdle as well.
It wasn’t all bad news for the higher seeds, though, as several of the marquee names moved one step closer to reaching Bucharest.
O’Sullivan lost his first frame against Lu Chenwei but knocked in a succession of 50 plus breaks to win 4-1, a scoreline shared by world champion Selby as he knocked in a 103 in defeat of John Astley.
Neil Robertson and John Higgins also emerged victorious with 4-1 scorelines but Stuart Bingham, Mark Allen, Barry Hawkins and Marco Fu all went one better with more comfortable whitewash wins.
Meanwhile, Irishman Ken Doherty continued his struggles on the circuit, the 1997 world champion being downed by World Open champion Ali Carter despite boasting an early 2-0 advantage.
Doherty is edging ominously nearer the top 64 cut-off point where a main tour position is guaranteed for the upcoming campaign.
Elsewhere, China’s Liang Wenbo defeated Mark King 4-3 to set up an intriguing clash against Kildare’s Josh Boileau.
Judd Trump, Ricky Walden, Anthony McGill, Michael Holt and David Gilbert were among the other winners who are now within one further victory of a spot in Romania.
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