World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan returned to the baize for the first time since his title retention in Sheffield and he picked up where he had left off.
The 37-year-old five-time winner of the sport's top prize was in action at the first PTC event of the year in Sofia, Bulgaria, and eased through three rounds to secure his spot in tomorrow's finals day.
Granted, the Essex potter's opponents were not of the calibre of those he dismissed at the Crucible last month, but he made light work of seeing off some of the game's lower-ranked players.
Such match-ups can provide upsets - Judd Trump lost to Dave Gilbert - but O'Sullivan saw off Michael Wild, Michael Leslie and Ian Burns with scores of 4-0, 4-1 and 4-1, scoring two centuries in the process.
O'Sullivan's appearance in Bulgaria is a real boost for World Snooker officials, who have long wanted their top ticket-seller to appear at more events.
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.
Bedford remains the last man to beat O'Sullivan, who retired himself for the rest of the season before coming back to win the world title.
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 will return in tomorrow's fifth round, needing to win four more matches to take the trophy. He will be joined by the likes of John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Hawkins, who all progressed through their ties.
Trump's loss was a surprise, with the former world number one unable to back up his whitewash of Sanderson Lam when he faced Gilbert.