A stroke of bad luck sealed Ken Doherty's fate last night at the Totesport Grand Prix at Preston.
Doherty looked certain to send his match with Thailand's James Wattana into a deciding frame.
However, Wattana fluked the final brown out of a snooker off two cushions and then potted blue and pink for a 5-3 win.
"It was a cruel blow," said Dubliner Doherty who has not won a ranking tournament for more than three years.
"I had James in a really good snooker and from where I was sat it did not even look as though he could hit it.
"I had him in trouble a few times on the colours and I thought I would get a chance to play the last frame.
"But it was a good match to play in up to that point. It is a pity one of us had to lose.
"James though is a good player and he is dangerous when he gets in among the balls," added Doherty who won his frames with breaks of 90, 84 and 54.
Wattana's barren spell has lasted even longer than Doherty's drought. His last ranking title success came in 1995 and from once being three in the world he began the new campaign at 33.
However, the 34-year-old former World Matchplay champion is now through to the last 16 where he will play former Grand Prix champion Stephen Lee.
"What a fluke. I had no where else to go with that shot and I had to play it at that pace," said Wattana.
Lee enjoyed a more straightforward 5-1 victory over Anthony Hamilton.
Ulsterman Joe Swail, meanwhile, was beaten 5-1 by world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan.
O'Sullivan and Graeme Dott will re-run their World Championship final on Thursday night for a place in the quarter-finals.
Dott knocked out former Grand Prix champion Dominic Dale 5-2.
Masters champion Paul Hunter got out of jail against Ali Carter. Hunter, the world number five, trailed 4-2 and was 39-0 down in the seventh.
However, he pulled back from the brink with runs of 53 and 27, shaded a scrappy penultimate frame and then compiled 102 to take the decider.
Hunter's reward is a match against six times world champion Steve Davis.
Wednesday's second round matches (best of nine frames):
1pm: Ricky Walden (Eng) v Stephen Maguire (Sco), Marco Fu (Hkg) v Barry Hawkins (Eng), Michael Judge (Irl) v Marcus Campbell (Sco)
Followed by: Stephen Hendry (Sco) v Robert Milkins (Eng), Jimmy White (Eng) v Ian McCulloch (Eng), Alan McManus (Sco) v Nigel Bond (Eng)
7.45pm: Mark Selby (Eng) v Leo Fernandez (Irl), Peter Ebdon (Eng) v Joe Jogia (Eng)