Neil Robertson edged past world number one Judd Trump 10-9 to win his third UK Championship in what was an unforgettably epic late night final.
An electrifying contest of high breaks and impeccable cue ball control was expected, but it was a tactical fight.
They were locked at 4-4 after the first session, and there was no more than one frame between them throughout.
Robertson won frame 18 with a break of 72 and knocked in the pink to win an hour-long decider after Trump’s miss.
The Australian collected the trophy and £200,000 in prize money at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, for the first UK Championship to take place without any spectators in attendance.
Fans watching at home will have expected two of this season’s in-form players to put on a free-flowing spectacle but neither were anywhere near their pinnacle and ended up slugging it out into early Monday morning with the match finishing at 00:55 GMT.
Robertson told BBC Sport: “It was unbelievable. There was a lot of good stuff, and to use a quote Mark Williams used, it almost got so bad it was so good at one stage, because we were both trying so hard.
“We don’t want frames to go that length. We like to win frames with big breaks in one visit.
“Maybe because I lost my last two finals I was trying too hard and brought Judd down a bit. But we are both gladiators out there, even without a crowd.”