Matthew Stevens was stunned after letting slip a six-frame advantage against Shaun Murphy to tumble out of the World Championship on Wednesday.
Matthew Stevens will now have to qualify for the Crucible next year
"I'm still in shock. I had the game won at 11-5. What can you say?" Stevens said on his 13-12 quarter-final loss.
"I got a few chances along the way. I should have won 13-7.
"I'm obviously devastated but that's the way it goes. I won the game the night before in my mind. Funny things happen in snooker."
Stevens, twice a beaten finalist, resumed with an 11-5 lead on Wednesday needing only two frames for victory.
I'll have to qualify for this next year, but I'll come back stronger
But Murphy, who beat the Welshman 18-16 in the 2005 final, took it to a decider by claiming seven out of eight frames before clinching the last.
Even worse for Stevens is that he has now fallen out of the elite top-16 and will have to qualify for the Crucible next year.
"I tried to stay composed but it just didn't happen, I lost a couple of black-ball games to win but Shaun showed a lot of character," Stevens added.
"I was playing well enough this week to have won the title, but I've now got to put a lot of work in over the summer.
"I'll have to qualify for this next year, but I'll come back stronger."