Jimmy White showed glimpses of his old form before going out of the first round 10-5 at the hands of David Gray.
Gray saw off a late White comeback
Trailing 6-3 overnight, White lost two of the first three frames on the black and with Gray needing just one frame to win, White's exit looked imminent.
Strangely this seemed to lift the pressure and he finally found his groove, winning the next two frames.
But it was a final flourish as Gray held his nerve to clinch the win with an impressive double-back on the blue.
Afterwards, White said he was disappointed by his early exit but would carry on, despite having to qualify for next year's championships.
"I've played really well in practice but you need to do it under pressure - it was very frustrating," he said.
"I still love this game and still think I'm good enough to compete. I'll carry on until I know I can't play anymore.
"I'll go to Prestatyn for the qualifiers, give it my all and hopefully get back in next year."
Gray is one of White's practice partners, and admitted he felt sorry for his old friend.
"It's not nice but that's snooker," said the world number 22, who won 10-5 to reach the second round.
"There are no friends when you're at the table.
"But I feel for Jimmy. He's too good a player to be in the situation he is but he put himself under a lot of pressure with his results this season."
J White (Eng) 5-10 D Gray (Eng)
36-65 (65) 58-66 (58 White) 7-114 (109) 36-62 83-8 (75) 99-4 48-75 (62) 89-7 49-73 48-56 10-64 47-52 62-49 94-0 (53) 34-62