Stuart Bingham reached the Winners’ Group of the Championship League by emerging from Group 2 on Thursday in Leicester.
The former champion only just squeezed into the knockout phase in fourth place after the round-robin.
Bingham shared the same number of points as Jamie Jones following three victories from the six league fixtures, but a superior frame difference record helped him through at the Welshman’s expense.
In the semi-finals, the 46 year-old compiled an excellent 140 century break en route to a tight 3-2 success against Group 1 runner-up Matthew Selt.
Bingham then added contributions of 139, 77, and 67 in the final as he saw off the challenge of Robert Milkins with a 3-1 scoreline.
A Championship League winner in 2015, Bingham joins Jack Lisowski in the seven-player Winners’ Group in March.
Milkins, Selt, second semi-finalist Jordan Brown, and fifth-placed Jones will all advance in the competition, getting another crack of qualifying in Group 3 in January.
Recent English Open champion Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson, and Ricky Walden will enter the fray as new competitors at the Morningside Arena.
Ryan Day and Barry Hawkins are out, meanwhile, after finishing at the bottom of Group 2.
There are two different versions of the Championship League currently on the snooker calendar.
The ranking event edition was staged back in the summer, with Luca Brecel triumphing on that occasion.
This ongoing Championship League, which is open only to invited players, is the original having first taken place 14 years ago.
Judd Trump and John Higgins have both won the competition three times with the pair set to join the action in later groups.
In addition to prize money on offer for advancing in the respective groups, other cash bonuses are available for frames won and by compiling the highest break.
Featured photo credit: WST