Ronnie O'Sullivan resorted to a version of a pool break-off shot as he failed to find his stride against an in-form Hossein Vafaei in the cubicles of the Chase Leisure Centre in Cannock.

The world's top players, alongside the game's lesser lights, were forced to qualify for next January's German Masters in the Staffordshire town, with two wins required to guarantee a £4,000 payday and a place in the last 32.

Six-time world champion O'Sullivan, who has won £12m in career prize money, was already trailing Vafaei 4-0 when he attempted his speculative break. However, it was one that yielded an immediate dividend, with the world number three sinking a red and ending up in perfect position on the black. O'Sullivan subsequently broke down on a break of 24, with Vafaei completing his 5-0 whitewash courtesy of knocks of 52, 50, 81, 141 and 64.

Elsewhere in qualifying, Ken Doherty progressed to the final stages in Berlin after seeing off fellow veteran Matthew Stevens 5-3, while compatriot Fergal O'Brien fell at the first hurdle after Ben Hancorn emerged a 5-3 victor in their encounter.