Two-time champion Mark Selby crashed out of the UK Championship following a 6-4 defeat to Iran’s Hossein Vafey in York.
Selby, winner of the tournament in 2012 and 2016, struggled to find his rhythm and missed a chance to force a decision when he cut Wafe in half in the 10th frame.
The 28-year-old Vafaei, who had a career-best fourth round last year, kept up the nerve to sink a tough green and brown to claim one of his most important victories.
The defeat continued a poor campaign for seventh-seeded Selby in the competition, whose best result was a semi-final appearance at the Champions of Champions earlier this month.
Wafe’s reward was a round-of-16 clash with Jack Lisowski, who scored 73, 83 and 66 in a 6-1 win over another Chinese player, Xu Chi.
Judd Trump broke his “horrific” record at the UK Championships by defeating China’s Xiao Gudong in the final to secure his place in the round of 16.
Despite winning the tournament in 2011 and two subsequent finals, Trump has always struggled to be in top form in the second major tournament of the season.
History looked set to repeat itself as world number 34 fought back for a long time against Xiao, crushing the front for the first time in the seventh frame and missing a brilliant chance to wrap things up before finally crossing the line.
“My record here is atrocious,” Trump told the BBC. “Every game seems the same – I’m playing well in the match and then I go out there and I can’t put a ball in the pocket.
“I don’t know what. I feel better and I screw everything up. I’m happy to pass because I love the prestige of the event and if I go home after the first game I’ll be devastated.
Xiao won the opener from behind to score 118 in the third frame, while his steady snooker mark seemed to overwhelm Trump, who had chances but failed to kill the frames in consecutive visits.
Trump seemed to lose control to drag out the frame 5-4 in a long defense battle, only to miss a red that should have won the next match, allowing Xiao to respond. . With a superb 60 to force the result.
This time, it was Xiao who slipped, attempting an ambitious defense that left an open red for Trump, and the world No. 3 kept his composure to fire a break for 88 to claim victory.
Shaun Murphy ran into a high-profile contest against David Gilbert, forcing a decision with a break on 133 before dominating the final frame to secure his place in the round of 16.
“Total creator. Devoted tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil pop culture buff. Social media advocate.”