Judd Trump has secured the European Series bonus without being at the table after Mark Selby suffered a shock loss to Chris Wakelin in the third round of the Gibraltar Open.
World number one Trump and Selby were the only two players in contention to win the £150,000 bonus.
Trump entered the final event of the six-tournament series in front, so had to better or equal Selby’s performance to scoop the pot. And the world number four’s 4-2 loss to Wakelin was enough - and affords Trump the luxury of being able to focus on defending the Gibraltar Open title he won 12 months ago.
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Selby came into the match on Friday as the heavy favourite and he made a bright start to keep Wakelin cold with a couple of solid contributions in the opener.
Wakelin, the world number 62, went a frame and half without potting a ball, but won a dramatic second frame.
Selby looked in command after winning a lengthy safety battle and potting a good long red, but he did not capitalise and Wakelin edged his way back into the frame.
His hopes appeared over after he went in-off when attempting a long pink, but laid an excellent snooker with only pink and black on the table. It earned him 12 points in fouls and more importantly a crack at sealing the frame after Selby stuck the pink over the green pocket when getting out of the snooker at the third time of asking. Wakelin's positional play from pink to black was terrible and he handed a tough chance to Selby, but the world number four left the ball in the jaws for his opponent to steal and breathe a sigh of relief.
Taking the second appeared to ease the pressure on Wakelin and he rolled in a polished 67 which was enough to move him ahead in the match.
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Selby was on the back foot, but is an accomplished battler and he stepped in to level the match at 2-2 after Wakelin went for a pink that looked far too big a risk to take. He did not get close to the pot and it left the table open for Selby to pounce with a break of 91.
Wakelin could have been forgiven for faltering in the face of Selby’s surge, but he hit back in the next with his fifth century of the season - a total clearance of 137.
There were nerves in the sixth. Wakelin came into the match having never beaten Selby and that could have been on his mind when he missed a simple blue. He got a further chance and was 26 points ahead when missing a red with the rest, and went back to his chair with anguish etched on his face.
Wakelin - who is in danger of losing his tour card after a poor season - feared the worst when Selby knocked in a long red, but he did not get on the final red and both passed up opportunities to gain the advantage.
Selby retreated to familiar surrounds of a safety exchange, but it was Wakelin who came out on top and he potted the red and colours he needed to secure a magnificent win.
Stephen Hendry’s conqueror Matthew Selt continued his progress in the tournament with a 4-3 win over Kyren Wilson to reach the last 16.
Alexander Ursenbacher was the first player to advance to the last 16 with a 4-0 win against Mitchell Mann.
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