Ronnie O’Sullivan was dumped out of the UK Championship after a 6-4 quarter-final defeat to Stuart Bingham.
Bingham led 3-1 at the mid-session interval, but O’Sullivan got himself back in the game with two sparkling centuries.
But the world No 10 stayed calm to reverse his defeat in the recent Champion of Champions final in Coventry and advances to the last four.
O’Sullivan was keen to avoid any festivities as he marked his 38th birthday – and Bingham was evidently of the same mind.
The Basildon player ruthlessly took the opening two frames, the second with an excellent 131 break.
O’Sullivan pulled one back with a 59 but turned down a desperately tight last red in the next and Bingham got over the line to lead 3-1.
He took the first frame back as well but O’Sullivan finally clicked into top gear in frame six, a 135 in seven and a half minutes closing the gap to 4-2.
The resurgence continued with a 46 break but Bingham took the next with 48 and 28 to move within a frame of victory.
Again O’Sullivan found a high-class response, this time a 127, but after making 28 he let Bingham in and was punished with a classy 41 break.
After a safety battle, Bingham put the match to bed with the last red.
O’Sullivan was gracious in defeat and said: “I want to congratulate Stuart, he played a fantastic match and he’s had another brilliant tournament.
“He’s an in-form player, a seasoned player now, so you just have to congratulate him on a fantastic performance and I just wish him the best of luck for the rest of the tournament.
“It just shows the character of the guy, he’s able to do it under pressure now so all credit to him, and good luck to him.”
Bingham will face Neil Robertson in the semi-final after the Australian beat Stephen Maguire 6-2.
“I’ve got not a bad record against Neil,” added Bingham. “I’ll be pretty confident. It’s my first UK semi-final.”
Robertson labelled the second table at the Narbican Centre in York “unplayable” and “absolute garbage” as he struggled with it for the second successive day.
He was exiled from the main table in favour of O’Sullivan for both his last-16 clash with Joe Perry and his quarter-final against Stephen Maguire.
And though he won 6-1 and 6-2 respectively to reach the last four in York, he called for the table to be re-clothed.
“Once again the table’s just absolute garbage, it’s unplayable,” said Robertson.
“I’m just glad they’re taking it out of the arena now.”