Ali Carter continued his solid Championship League record by topping his group with a game to spare at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
The two-time Crucible finalist was the highest-ranked player in action on Monday.
The world number 24 broke off his season at the event where he was runner-up to Martin Gould in 2013, and a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2018.
Carter, who has also qualified for the Winners’ Group on a further three occasions, was tested by Michael Georgiou in his opening match.
After drawing first blood with a break of 61, the Captain demonstrated brilliant sportsmanship by declaring a foul on himself in the second frame.
Although, this proved decisive as former Shoot-Out champion Georgiou took full advantage by clearing with 88 to level.
The Cypriot, who fell off the main tour in 2020, looked on course for a 2-1 lead at 48-0 up in frame three.
However, an untimely miss was pounced on by Carter, who dished up with 79 before a run of 57 in the next sealed victory.
The four-time ranking event winner then produced a lovely clearance from brown to black in his opening frame against Sydney Wilson, before controlling the next two to wrap up a commanding 3-0 success.
That secured the 41-year-old’s progress into the second stage of the competition with a match to spare.
Although, he did squander the opportunity to do so with three wins from three; missing a tricky pink and going in-off when in to clear for a 3-1 win over two-time ranking event winner Dominic Dale.
The Spaceman, who began his 30th successive season on the tour, subsequently knocked it in for a share of the spoils.
Over in Group 23, Alexander Ursenbacher enjoyed a 100 per cent record as he marched through to Stage Two with three wins from three.
The world number 45, who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan at the UK Championship last season, continued to impress with dominant displays across his three matches.
Switzerland’s number one hit top breaks of 79 and 65 as he reeled off nine frames without reply; securing 3-0 wins over Aaron Hill, Leo Fernandez and 2020 champion Scott Donaldson.
Championship league Snooker 2021 Results
Monday July 19
Ali Carter 3-1 Michael Georgiou
Dominic Dale 2-2 Sydney Wilson
Dominic Dale 2-2 Michael Georgiou
Ali Carter 3-0 Sydney Wilson
Sydney Wilson 1-3 Michael Georgiou
Ali Carter 2-2 Dominic Dale
Alexander Ursenbacher 3-0 Aaron Hill
Scott Donaldson 1-3 Leo Fernandez
Scott Donaldson 1-3 Aaron Hill
Alexander Ursenbacher 3-0 Leo Fernandez
Scott Donaldson 0-3 Alexander Ursenbacher
Aaron Hill 0-3 Leo Fernandez