Mark Selby outwitted Shaun Murphy in York to reach his third Betway UK Championship final.
Murphy headed home on the back of a 6-2 defeat, as Selby waited to learn whether it would be Ronnie O'Sullivan or Marco Fu waiting for him on Sunday.
The semi-final between Selby and Murphy was a repeat of the 2012 UK final, and it delivered the same winner.
Selby played a typically measured match, with Murphy's growing deficit being reflected by increasingly desperate tactics as his hopes faded.
Murphy opened with a 99 break, but runs of 55, 83 and 46 saw Selby in front by the interval. The Leicester cueman pinched the last of the mini session in familiar Selby fashion, as Murphy missed the green and soon found himself tied up in a snooker.
The situation called for a counter-attack from Murphy, and a break of 57 trimmed Selby's lead to one frame.
The pair have been rivals since their teenage years, playing over 30 times on the professional tour, and both are wise men of the game.
Murphy attributes a more attacking outlook to an upturn in his results over recent seasons.
He looked to be positive here as Selby restored his two-frame cushion, but when he missed a tough green in the seventh frame that guns-blazing approach proved costly.
Selby snatched the frame that Murphy knew was his for the taking, gobbling up the leftovers.
And although Murphy had his chances in the next frame too, a familiar story prevailed with Selby mopping up the final balls.
Champion in 2012 and runner-up in 2013, the reigning world champion will be aiming on Sunday to cap his year with another trophy.
On the day World Snooker announced the tournament would be staying in York for at least the next two years, Selby was able to put his feet up in the evening as O'Sullivan and Fu vied to meet him in the best-of-19 title match.