On September 1, 2001 (my 40th birthday), I played at the Western Open in San Diego. Afterwards, my rating went up about 120 points to 1752. With a then-current rating of 1633, I beat four players with ratings around 200 points above me (all well above 1800), including the runner-up that day of the under-2000 group, whose pre-tournament rating was 1869.

Of course I'm proud: I had given myself my own best 40th birthday present!

Should you care? Maybe not, but probably you should -- and the probability can be quantified. If it were just a random event, then nothing really happened here.

So let's assume that it WAS a random event. Then the joint probability of four upset victories over players with ratings 200 points higher, using USATT statistics, can be calculated. The probability is roughly 0.000006.

That is, a naysayer, who thinks this result is meaningless, has an opinion which has just as much probability of being true as if a rock dropped randomly from an airplane flying along a 40 mile long road happened to land on a single crosswalk stripe six inches in width.

So at the very least we should feel encouraged in thinking that using the V grip can lead to significant improvements in table tennis play.

So: Get a grip, get THE grip, get the V grip. Read about it, try it, study it, and you'll discover something new and wonderful that will surprise and delight you.

Email me here if you want me to tell you about the technical improvements that I've developed since my last update in May.