Mark Selby was denied by Ben Woollaston in Group 3 of the Championship League on Thursday at the Morningside Arena.
The Leicester pair boasted a 100% record going into the final round of fixtures having both beaten James Cahill and Zhang Jiankang.
With Woollaston possessing the superior frame difference, only a victory for Selby would prove enough to see him advance in this ranking event edition of the Championship League.
But with the scores tied at 1-1, the former world champion lost a crucial third frame before Woollaston completed the triumph with a terrific 127 ton.
In Group 23, Elliot Slessor beat Joe Perry in a similar winner-takes-all encounter to finish in first place and progress from Stage One.
An early 3-1 defeat of Lukas Kleckers and a 2-2 tie with Andrew Higginson set Slessor up, and despite losing the opening frame against Perry the 27 year-old took the next three to move forward.
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English duo Woollaston and Slessor will next participate in Stage Two towards the end of this month in Leicester.
There will be a short break from the action of Stage One this weekend before the play resumes with Groups 5 and 28 on Monday.
Mark Williams fronts Group 5 with Li Hang, Andrew Pagett, and amateur top-up Rory McLeod also involved.
In Group 28, Gary Wilson enters the fray alongside Jak Jones, Barry Pinches, and Harvey Chandler.
Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST