Mark Allen may have lost to world number one Neil Robertson by the narrowest of margins in the Masters at Alexandra Palace – but the Ulsterman still felt he'd had "a bad day at the office".
Robertson, world champion in 2010, repeated last year's 6-5 win over his fellow left-hander, who he also knocked out in 2012.
"He showed why he is the world number one," said Allen. "He took his chances when they came.
"We were both well below par. I came here on a good run of form but I didn't play well – it was a bad day at the office," added the 27-year-old from Antrim.
Allen took the opener with a 114 break, it was 2-2 at the interval and the Australian battled all the way before winning the decider to book a quarter-final place against Stephen Maguire in the £600,000 elite top-16 event.
Robertson had survived a huge kick on the blue to clear with 59 to the pink for victory but admitted afterwards he had struggled with conditions.
"It was similar to the UK (Championship)," said Robertson.
"When the arena is so hot, balls just spray off all over the place."