Jimmy White edged qualifier Rhydian Richards 3-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the World Seniors Championship in Sheffield on Friday.
The 57 year-old, who only a day earlier had suffered a painful 5-4 defeat in qualifying for the China Championship on the Main Tour, managed to delight the partisan crowd at the Crucible Theatre.
The World Seniors Snooker Tour is usually restricted to amateur players over the age of 40 but a loophole – clearly designed for White – allows players with invitational Main Tour cards to still compete.
It means that the “Whirlwind”, who meets Stuart Watson in the last eight, has the opportunity to add to his previous World Seniors Championship glory from 2010.
Indeed, White is the most successful World Seniors player ever, with four titles to his name.
Triumphing in this event would be even more special for White, though, what with it being staged at the Crucible for the first time.
The Londoner, of course, famously lost in the final of the World Snooker Championship at the sport’s iconic venue six times throughout a glittering career.
In four of those title deciders, White was defeated by common foe Stephen Hendry and the Scot could be an adversary again at the same stage in 2019.
Hendry was twice pegged back by Tony Drago in an entertaining affair but eventually scrambled past the winning line for a 3-2 victory over the Maltese.
The 50 year-old has another tough opponent if he’s to secure a semi-final berth, with Darren Morgan up next for the seven-time world champion.
Morgan pipped John Parrott in another deciding frame thriller that concluded on the final pink and the Welshman will be a hard man to beat.
Meanwhile, defending champion Aaron Canavan safely negotiated his opening task with a 3-1 triumph against Au Chi-wai.
The Jersey potter will face Leo Fernandez next after the Irishman easily out-scored the unheralded Dutchman Joris Maas.
James Wattana and Chen Gang had already booked their spots in the quarter-finals on Thursday’s opening night.