The 24-year-old from Haverfordwest – only the second Welsh player to compete in the event – beat Egypt’s reigning world champ Tarek Momen in Cairo.
Makin triumphed 2-1 (11-5, 6-11, 11-9) in his opening Group B match which is played over the best of three games.
“I started losing my structure in the second game and he was shutting me out all the time on the backhand and he was getting good lines through there so I had to hit around that,” said Makin.
“I did much better in the third.
“Now I have two more attempts to get one more win and I am through. Obviously I want to get as many wins as I can here.
“Best of three is never going to be as easy for me but I am pleased to nick it.”
It was his third successive win over Momen, who is seeded second for the prestigious tournament.
Makin, world ranked No 10 but seeded seven in Cairo, has now given himself a great chance of progressing from the group stages.
The Birmingham-based player faces World No.5 Paul Coll and World No.7 Marwan ElShorbagy in his remaining group games.
Makin is the only Brit in the men’s draw and emulates Wales’ national coach David Eans, the only other Welsh squash player to qualify for the World Tour Finals.