THERE was almost a awful miscue before Ali Carter chalked up his third ranking tournament win at the Betfair German Masters in Berlin.
The Springfield resident was left sweating when his beloved hand-made John Parris cue got lost in transit and he was already making desperate preparations to borrow another player's wand.
But thankfully it turned up an hour before his first round match against Fraser Patrick and he didn't look back before beating Marco Fu in a tight final and claiming what he describes as the best win of his career.
"It only arrived an hour before my match," he said. "Of course I was panicking, every snooker will tell you that the most important thing to them in their professional life is their cue.
"I got a text message on the phone when we got there to say that one of the bags had gone missing and I thought: 'if it's my suitcase and my suit's in there I'm not going to be able to play and if it's my cue I would be able to play either.
"I would probably have borrowed Shaun Murphy's cue I reckon, I'd sort of text him and briefed him up and I was going to borrow that."
On route the 33-year-old, who trains at the Stepfield Club in Witham, swept aside Anthony Hamilton, Michael Holt and Neil Robertson before edging out Fu 9-6 at the 2,000 seater Tempodrom.
"Everything is going well in my personal life and my health [he suffers from a bowl condition known as Chron's disease] is not too bad at the moment and I fancied going out there and doing well," he said.
"It's brilliant out in Germany and it was such a pleasure to play there."
This title is added to a Welsh Open crown in 2009 and the 2010 Shanghai Masters. Now Carter is hoping it can lead to a sustained period of success with the Welsh Open starting next week.
"For the last three months I've done very well," he said.
"I won recently at Crondon Park, I've won in Germany and I got to the semi-finals of the UKs as well, it's only The Masters that was a disappointment but I lost there to John Higgins, one of the best players in the world, and you can't win them all.
"This one is a bigger and better tournament to win than the other two because of the size of the venue and the support it gets. It's the best win of my career."