The Englishman was given a helping hand with his nearest rival exiting the Gibraltar Open.
Judd Trump will claim the £150,000 BetVictor European Series bonus for a second successive season after Mark Selby lost in the Gibraltar Open on Friday.
Heading into the sixth and final leg of the mini-rankings race with a £6,500 advantage, Trump knew that matching or eclipsing Selby’s output at the Marshall Arena would guarantee him the bumper prize.
The 31 year-old faces Robert Milkins in the last 32 on Saturday morning, but Selby has already crashed out after a 4-2 reverse against Chris Wakelin at the same hurdle.
Had Selby and Trump continued in the competition, a grandstand semi-final showdown could have taken place between the pair.
But the former wasn’t at his best against Wakelin, who compiled a 137 break in what could be a vital victory in his own quest to finish the season inside the world’s top 64.
Trump, who also won the £150,000 European Series bonus last year with a last-frame victory over Kyren Wilson in the final in Gibraltar, quipped soon after on Twitter that he “might owe Chris Wakelin a drink or two.”
The series is made up of six tournaments on the calendar that are sponsored by online betting firm BetVictor.
Trump emerged with the champion’s cheque in the German Masters and was also a runner-up in the first Championship League of the term.
The world number one may yet add another ranking title to the tally in the coming days, with a separate £50,000 top prize up for grabs for winning the Gibraltar Open.
Elsewhere in that event, Ricky Walden, Alexander Ursenbacher, and Matthew Selt all advanced to the last 16 alongside Wakelin – Selt with a 4-3 ousting of last year’s runner-up, Wilson.
The round of 64 concluded as well with triumphs for Mark Allen, who was fortunate to outlast teenager Iulian Boiko in a deciding frame, and Shaun Murphy.
Jimmy White continued his fine week so far with a 4-2 success against former champion Stuart Bingham.
Among the others into the third round are David Gilbert, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Martin Gould, and Ali Carter.
By the end of Saturday’s play, the eight quarter-finalists will be determined as what has been a long-winded tournament finally reaches its business end.
Live coverage is on Eurosport and various other platforms around the world.
Click here to view the full draw. (Scheduled times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST