Joe Swail's dream of making it to the World Championship at the Crucible finally came to an end last night in the penultimate qualifier when the Belfast cueman lost 10-8 to rising Chinese star Li Yan.
Swail, who has twice reached the World Championship semi-finals, had accounted for Anthony Hamilton and Alex Davies in previous rounds at the Ponds Forge Centre in Sheffield.
The £1.25million World Championship gets under way at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ken Doherty will try to recapture the glory days when he faces Dechawat Poomjaeng in the final round of qualifying tomorrow.
The 44-year-old Dubliner, World champion in 1997, is ranked 28 in the world but will have to be at his best to beat Thailand's rising star.
The world number 51 beat Craig Steadman – conqueror of six-time champion Steve Davis – 10-6.