His opponent started by racing to more than 600 points, leaving Peter Gilchrist more than 200 points in his wake. At that point, the Singaporean was, quite literally, looking for a break.
He got what he was looking for.
Using his 58-inch Green Baize cue like a magic wand, he made the red ball disappear repeatedly to claw his way to a 1,500-1,085 victory over world No.1 David Causier in the long format final of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Billiards Championship in Leeds, England, on Wednesday night.
In nine visits to the table, Gilchrist hit eight centuries, with his biggest break of the evening 179 points.
In stark contrast, Causier had just one century (156) in eight visits to the table.
"Sometimes, the harder you try, the worse you will get. But this time, one shot after another went in," the 45-year-old Gilchrist, who gave up his British passport for Singaporean citizenship in 2006, recalled.
"I potted a few centuries and my opponent started missing."
His stirring fightback in the final has stoked his ambition to go out in a blaze of glory.
Currently ranked fifth in the world, the Middlesbrough native said: "I have probably another five to 10 really good years. My end goal is to be No.1 again."
The win completes a hat-trick of a world title every decade for Gilchrist, who also lifted the trophy in 1994 and 2001.
"But I am not going to wait until 2020," he intoned. "I want to win it again next year."
On the flipside, Singapore's top billiards player has been weighed down by past disappointments, most notably his two bronze medals in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games, when he was expected to deliver gold.
He said: "But this world title has made up for them. I've been training seven hours daily and the effort has paid off. The world championship is the ultimate in the sport, it's the big one."