Ronnie O’Sullivan downed Stuart Bingham and John Higgins on Tuesday to set up a semi-final meeting with holder Shaun Murphy at the Champion of Champions event in Coventry.
Murphy beat ‘The Rocket’ 10-8 in last year’s final at the Ricoh Arena and O’Sullivan will have a chance to take his revenge on Friday.
The five-time world champion overcame Bingham 4-2 in the morning but was given a scare by Higgins in the evening match.
Higgins, who beat Ryan Day 4-3 in his opener, took a 3-2 lead before O’Sullivan fought back and won the final four frames to claim a 6-3 success.
The 42-year-old won the non-ranking event when it returned to the snooker calendar in 2013 and secured back-to-back titles by taking the top prize the following year.
O’Sullivan is 1.95 to win the Champion of Champions 2018 outright, while from the other half of the draw current world champion Mark Williams is available at 11.00.
O’Sullivan has fallen just short in each of the last two seasons, going down to Higgins in 2016 before his defeat to Murphy last year.
The world number three will now have a chance to complete a hat-trick in Coventry but must first overcome Murphy in their 11-frame contest.
O’Sullivan is 1.30 to beat Murphy, who can be backed at 3.30 to come out on top.