Stuart Bingham emerged as the winner from Championship League Group Four on Thursday after a 3-1 victory over Mark Selby in Coventry.
The Englishman knocked in a break of 80 to see off the world number one and ensure his participation in March’s Winners’ Group.
Selby had topped the round-robin phase after winning all but one of his league fixtures.
Bingham, Barry Hawkins, Ali Carter, and Luca Brecel all finished on three points but an inferior frame difference resulted in the latter failing to reach the knockout rounds.
In the last four, Bingham and Selby recorded respective 3-1 triumphs over Hawkins and Carter, before the 2015 world champion got the better of the final at the Ricoh Arena.
The 42 year-old pocketed £6,100 for his efforts in Championship League Group Four and, of course, has the additional reward of joining Neil Robertson, Jack Lisowski, and Judd Trump in the Winners’ Group.
Selby earned the high break bonus of £500 for his terrific 143 – the second successive group that he constructed the total clearance break.
The Leicester man, Hawkins, Carter, and Brecel will have another crack in Group Five later in January, and will be joined by newcomers Stephen Maguire, Joe Perry, and Anthony McGill.
After finishing bottom of Championship League Group Four, Welshman Ryan Day and Scotland’s Graeme Dott have been eliminated.
For all the players involved, the Championship League serves as a useful competition to gain match practice against their close rivals at a key juncture of the campaign, while it also offers an avenue into the lucrative Champion of Champions later in the year.
The action is played behind closed doors but the matches are streamed live for the betting market.