Michael Holt suffered a 4-2 defeat to John Astley as his bid to retain his World Snooker Tour card failed at the final hurdle at Q School in Sheffield on Thursday.
Having dropped to 65 in the world following a 6-3 loss to Tom Ford in the World Championship qualifiers in April, Holt needed to overcome Astley to earn a fresh two-year tour card in the finals of event three at Ponds Forge having turned professional in 1996.
Gateshead potter Astley – who defeated defending champion 6-2 Neil Robertson as an amateur at the UK Championship in November – made breaks of 52 and 78 in his win over Holt, who had levelled at 2-2 from 2-0 behind.
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2016 Riga Masters quarter-finalist Astley returns to the tour two years after losing his card, but Holt joins former world No 21 Kurt Maflin in dropping off the professional circuit.
Maflin suffered a 4-1 defeat to Lukas Kleckers in round five on Thursday night.
Kleckers regained his tour card with a 4-3 win over Scotland's Ross Muir.
The German player compiled 78 and 75 with Muir forcing a decider he would lose with a run of 80.

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James Cahill made breaks of 69, 68 and 79 in a 4-1 victory over Zhao Jianbo to regain his professional status a year after losing his card.
21-year-old Englishman Jenson Kendrick completed a 4-1 win over Haydon Pinhey to claim his place on the tour.
Fergal O'Brien, Rod Lawler, Andy Lee and Bai Langning secured the first four tour cards from event one with Aaron Hill, Sanderson Lam, Zak Surety and Adam Duffy successful in event two.

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An Asia-Oceania Q School began in Bangkok on Wednesday with another four tour cards on the line.
Two events are to be hosted in Thailand's capital city with the finalists from both earning a two-year card to the elite circuit.
19-year-old Julien Leclercq of Belgium clinched a two-year tour card with victory at the Q Tour play-offs.

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