Dimitri Van Den Bergh produced an explosive display of finishing to set up a winner-takes-all shoot-out with Jonny Clayton for a place in the Premier League play-offs in Milton Keynes.
The 26-year-old Belgian hit four century-plus checkouts, three of them in the last five legs, to snatch a 7-7 draw with James Wade.
Wade looked to be in the driving seat at 5-2, but needed a 121 finish to nudge back ahead at 7-6, only to see Van Den Bergh better him with a 130 checkout on the bull to claim a point and set up his showdown with fellow debutant Clayton on Thursday evening.
He told Sky Sports: “This point today means so much. I love Jonny to bits, he’s one of the greatest guys that I know in darts. That man is brilliant. I love Jonny Clayton to bits.
“But tomorrow, we’re enemies. We’ve got to do the job. I want to come off as a winner – 7-7 is not even going to be good enough.”
Van Den Bergh’s draw ended Peter Wright’s hopes of a top-four finish despite the Scot earlier mounting a remarkable fightback to beat Clayton.
The 2020 world champion, who started the night in sixth place, trailed 5-2 at the Marshall Arena and might have been worse off had his opponent not missed doubles in both the eight and ninth legs.
Wright took full advantage, reeling off six successive legs, the fourth of them by taking out 161, to claim an 8-5 win and two points, in the process ensuring Nathan Aspinall and Jose De Sousa of their places in the semi-finals along with Michael Van Gerwen.
Aspinall needed to hold his nerve to avoid defeat by Gary Anderson as a topsy-turvy encounter ended 7-7.
The Englishman led 3-1 and, after the Scot had won three legs on the trot, 6-4, but a 112-finish saw Anderson go 7-6 ahead, only to be pegged back following a missed bull for a 129 checkout as Aspinall kept alive his chances of topping the table.
Leader Van Gerwen, however, remains in pole position after a hard-fought 8-6 win over De Sousa.
The Portuguese registered six maximums in a contest which went with the darts for the opening eight legs, but found himself up against it after the Dutchman established a 7-4 lead.
De Sousa took it to the 14th with an 11-darter and then missed double top with two darts to snatch a point, and Van Gerwen needed no second invitation.