White turned on the style in the deciding frame to seal a 4-3 victory over Yuan Sijun.
The 60-year-old proved he is still competitive on the pro tour as he secured his spot in the first Home Nations event of the season.
Mark Allen will be defending the title in Belfast, with the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and John Higgins also in the field.
Crowd favourite White raced to a 3-1 lead before Yuan fought back to level the match. The decider was an exhibition of faultless potting from White as his 132 put him into the last 64.
He revealed that his son Tommy, the youngest of his five children, is helping him to practise and that has given the ten-time ranking event winner new motivation.
He said: "Tommy is working with me, getting the balls out for me. So instead of just an hour and a half on the practice table, he is making me do my four hours. He has had a year off work and has decided to come with me on the tour until the World Championship next April.
"We go walking on the Epsom Downs at home, it helps me get up and do that with him. But it's mainly to do proper practice.
"I played well to go 3-1 up today, then I didn't really get a shot until 3-3. So to make that big century to win the match, I was absolutely delighted. When you are not getting any victories it becomes much harder to get over the line so hopefully I can move forward from there. It is all about confidence this game, and if you start to win it helps take the pressure off."
Looking ahead to the trip to Belfast, White added: "I have been going to the Waterfront since I was 17 or 18, playing the great, late Alex Higgins. I played many exhibitions against Alex there, plus tournaments, and I would say it is one of the top five venues that we play at. There is always a great atmosphere.
"I was due to be going there anyway to work for Eurosport, so to win this match and to be involved as a player means I'll look forward to it even more."