With the remaining tournament rota set, Los Tres Originales made our way to the Vendetta, each needing to start well in the waning stages of 2009. We arrived late to an already anxious company of three fathers: Zulu, The Chairnman, and Fosbury (brought out of hiding by calls to his true competitive spirit). The makings of a great night at the table were certainly at hand, so we got straight to it. The Old Guard had the honors, so the EBMB and I set out to win the table from the lovely Isabel and her long time friend from Eugene. Inspired play by the Snipper paved over my inadequacy at the other end and we claimed control. The Tower of Power then put their unbeaten, although largely untested, record on the line. Once again, cunning play from the Barrett proved the difference, and the Tower fell. Next came the first batch of spoilers to the table. Zulu and the Chairman succinctly ended the Old Guard’s run with strong play. While my game was strong for once, Zulu mastered the swerve and swiped frame after frame from the EBMB. The spoilers then were ousted by the resurgent Tower of Power, who then went on a mini-run of their own, dismissing a pair of strangers and then beating the Smokers side of the Snipper and the just arrived Good King Lebold. Speaking of Kong’s arrival, it was indeed quite an entrance. Five PBRs laid down on the table with the six pack ring still attached, plus a whiskey round to follow. A lofty precedent of generosity from the Kongster. Team Eugene (The Chairman & msyelf) then cut the Tower down to size in a game ending in my decisive 5-point frame. We continued with a defeat of Zulu and Kong, but then got tilled under by the Farmers. However, the Farmers then lost to Fosbury and Kong to finish the long night at the table. While Foz and I carried the night, there was little shakeup in the 2009 standings, with B*****heart’s 4-3 mark for the evening being only slightly less impressive. The me vs. freezing rain challenge of the ride home made for a strangely suitable end for a tense and competitive night. If this night is any indication, the stretch run will be a string of very interesting and well attended affairs. The chase is on.