Former champion Stephen Maguire became one of the first players to guarantee their spots in the knockout stages of the 2018 Six Red World Championship after a second round-robin victory on Tuesday in Bangkok.
The Scot, who lifted the title four years ago when he edged Ricky Walden in a decider, comfortably overcame Nutcharut Wongharuthai 5-1 to add to his prior success against Luo Honghao on the opening day.
It means that Maguire’s third league fixture against Ryan Day in Group B is now effectively a dead rubber as the Welshman similarly made it two wins from two after beating Luo by three frames.
The scenario in Group D looks the same with Kyren Wilson and Graeme Dott both safely through to the last 16, meaning that two-time ranking event winner Michael White will be heading for the exit door after suffering a 5-4 defeat to the former on day two.
World number one Mark Selby, the champion from 2010, is through too after hammering World Open runner-up David Gilbert 5-1, with the latter set to face UAE amateur Mohammed Shehab in a winner-takes-all tie tomorrow.
In Group F, Anthony McGill has qualified after edging Michael Holt 5-4 to lead the pack with two points, meaning Holt and Zhou Yuelong will do battle for the remaining spot when they face each other in the third round-robin game.
All four of the remaining groups are still delicately poised too with at least three of the four players in each in with a shout of moving forward.
Defending champion Mark Williams edged Tom Ford in a decider to top Group A and maintain his 100% record but Ricky Walden’s thrilling final frame clincher of his own against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – which sent the 2015 champion crashing out – means that the Welshman still needs to take care.
Williams and Walden meet on day three and a defeat for the world number two, coupled with a victory for Ford against Un-Nooh, might still see the 43 year-old fall short of qualification.
Group C, E, and G all have the same outlook with Stuart Bingham, another former champion in Ding Junhui, and Thai hopeful Noppon Saengkham currently in pole position to reach the knockout phase but with their position in the last 16 not yet assured.