Paul Hunter came close to joining the maximum 147 break club on his way to a valuable overnight lead at the £615,000 (€880,000) Travis Perkins UK Championship in York.
Hunter, born just down the A64 in Leeds, had his supporters biting their nails as he potted his way towards a £25,000 (€35,000) bonus.
The recently deposed British Open champion sank 14 reds before missing the penultimate black into a top pocket in the eighth and final frame of the evening.
But Hunter was just happy to gain an overnight advantage after King started out confidently towards the quarter-finals.
Indeed, the Romford left-hander began the match having never lost to the 25-year-old world number eight.
And Hunter did not pot a ball as he went from 1-0 in front to 2-1 behind. However, a century break from the pre-match favourite sent the players into their mid-session interval all square after just 49 minutes.
King, who has beaten Alain Robidoux and David Gray to reach the last 16, regained the lead at 3-2.
But Hunter stamped his class on proceedings with breaks of 80, 32, 44 and 105 as King scored only five points in reply.
The Barbican Centre crowd were willing on Hunter towards his first competitive 147 but each shot became tougher towards the latter stages of the clearance.
And in the end he just failed to emulate John Higgins' maximum achievements at the LG Cup and British Open.