The Irish crowd favourite battled from 5-3 behind to win 10-5 against Stuart Bingham in the first round of the Dafabet World Championship, punching the air in delight as he crossed the finishing line.
“I’m here to enjoy myself, but I’m not here to make up the numbers,” said 44-year-old Doherty.
“I’ve had a lot of special memories out there and they come flooding back when you’re out there in the heat of the battle.
“Sometimes they can inspire you, so I’m trying to draw on all that experience and be as calm as possible.”
Doherty will face John Higgins or Alan McManus in the last 16.
“I didn’t play at my best and I still think I can play a lot better. Wwhen you’re not scoring sometimes you have to match it up with a good B game and that’s what I’m going to try to do – get back to the old ‘Crafty Ken’.”