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I am pleased Washington City Paper chose to profile my friend and pool teacher of the last six months, Gus Baroutas, but very disappointed at the coverage he received (“Playing the Angles,” 5/3). I know the bulk of what your journalist got down on paper: Gus is a friendly, straightforward gentleman who’d be happy to share his life story if you ask. But the difference between the mensch I know and the pool shark described is the difference between a woman who didn’t know the first thing about pool and got more than she planned on, and a journalist in search of a story. Your writer missed the essence. How could he write a piece about Gus and neglect to mention that he never charges for his lessons? He won’t accept so much as a tip from the satisfied pupils who fill his time slots weeks in advance, and he won’t take money from the pool halls that benefit from all the players he brings in. The Gus I know has a quick smile, a hearty laugh, and dispenses solid love-life advice. I’ve never heard him swear and I know for a fact that he’s well aware the service he provides Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan isn’t bullshit. I know because I asked him last night over our weekly free pool game. He’s a damn good teacher, as your writer noted, but he’s also a damn good guy, a fact I couldn’t let pass unsaid.
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