Mark Selby was, for the second year running, the winner of the Paul Hunter Classic but Joe Swail was its star.
The Belfast man has a long history of remarkable performances in the face of adversity but to reach the final from the amateur qualifying rounds proves what a real battler Swail remains.
He reached his first major ranking final at the Welsh Open just three years ago but dropped out of the top 64 at the end of last season and was thus relegated from the professional circuit.
He couldn’t face Q School. It must have seemed like an indignity after so many years as a well known name.
But, as the weeks ticked by, Swail realised snooker was still in his blood and, though not practising, entered the PTCs.
In Furth, he beat Jimmy White and Shaun Murphy and survived an extraordinary finish to his semi-final with Barry Hawkins, doubling the final black to win 4-3.
Just 20 minutes later he was back out against Selby, which looked like a match too far.
Still, Swail’s great run proves that in this new age of opportunity it is possible to do the unthinkable: if you are good enough.
He should now have done enough to secure a main tour return next year, which is good news because he is much liked and a proper character. I wrote of his Crucible heroics earlier this year.
Selby was very solid in the final, although he struggled to put away Robbie Williams in the last 16, eventually winning 4-3.
He had his own concerns coming into this season with the neck injury which ruined the end of the last campaign. This seems to have gone away, which is an obvious relief for the world no.1.
Once again the German snooker public played their full part. What enthusiasts they are and what respect they show the players. They are a credit and make for a terrific atmosphere.
It was fitting for a tournament played under Paul Hunter’s name: two nice blokes contesting a final watched by a full house, fully involved with the snooker and thoroughly entertained throughout.