Ronnie O'Sullivan returned to action for the first time since his World championship triumph in Sheffield and the Essex potter picked up where he left off.
The 37-year-old eased through three rounds at the first PTC event of the year in Sofia, Bulgaria, to secure his spot in Sunday's finals day.
O'Sullivan, a five-time winner at the Crucible, saw off lower-ranked players in Michael Wild, Michael Leslie and Ian Burns with scores of 4-0, 4-1 and 4-1, scoring two centuries in the process to reach the fifth round.
The mercurial O'Sullivan played in just one event in between his 2012 and 2013 Crucible wins - that was a PTC loss to Simon Bedford last September.
During that run in Sheffield he said he would play 10 more events to please his sponsor, before suggesting after his final win over Barry Hawkins that he could be persuaded to change his plans.
O'Sullivan needs to win four more matches to take the trophy and he will be joined by the likes of John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Hawkins, who all progressed through their ties.
However, former world No 1 Judd Trump made a surprise exit after he was unable to back up his whitewash of Sanderson Lam by losing to Dave Gilbert.
Should Ronnie O'Sullivan retire after winning his fifth world title?