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SPiN’s Dirty Dozen Tournament Honors Marty Reisman

Join us! This Sunday, March 17th at 7pm for SPiN LA’s Dirty Dozen Tournament honoring Marty Reisman.

Photo by Elizabet Davidsdottir

Just who was Marty Reisman, you ask?

Marty Reisman was a ping-pong pimp. Never without his signature custom made suits, aviator sunglasses, Gucci belt and Panama hat, the man’s swagger was almost as big as his prowess. He is a holder of 18 International and National titles including United States champion (2 times), British Open Champion, Canadian Champion (3 times), and US Men’s Hard Bat Champion (won at the age of 67). But, it was Marty’s side games that earned him his hustler status. Well into his 70’s it wasn’t uncommon for him to offer a 10-15 lead in a 21 point game and soundly thrash his competitors. He likened his table tennis game to a robbery, referring to his paddle as his gun, he said, “once I stepped up to that table, I was going to step away with the money”.

Photo by Elizabet Davidsdottir

With moves like Baryshnikov and the ego of a movie star, Marty was the poster child for ping pong’s golden era and blamed its decline on the invention of the sponge covered paddle. He said that sponge covered modern paddles are, “true evil its worst form” and that the modern game is “filled with deceit, deception, and fraud”. Marty was an outspoken advocate for the old-school sandpaper paddle, saying “it’s honest, pure, and simple”. Marty passed away last December at the age of 82. He lived long enough to witness ping pong’s return to coolness and was one of SPiN’s biggest advocates.

This weekend’s Dirty Dozen Tournament will be played with old-school sandpaper paddles, the way god and Marty Reisman intended.

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