ad-fullscreen

Houston furniture store owner hedges promotion with bets on Astros

Updated October 27, 2017 - 8:00 am

Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale says he quit gambling 30 years ago.

“I got broke in that habit. I couldn’t pick a big ’dog out of a room full of Chihuahuas,” he said. “I don’t gamble. I just hedge.”

In 2014, McIngvale, the popular owner of the Gallery Furniture retail chain, didn’t hedge on two uninsured promotions and lost big.

The company offered a refund on any purchase of at least $6,000 if the Seahawks beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. When Seattle won, he paid out almost $8 million.

Later that year, to celebrate his 63rd birthday, McIngvale offered a refund on any purchase of at least $6,300 if the Astros won at least 63 games in the regular season. They won 70, costing him about $7.5 million.

“I got slaughtered on that one,” said McIngvale, who, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is worth $75 million.

Hedging $5 million

McIngvale’s latest promotion offered a refund on any mattress purchase of at least $3,000 if the Astros win the World Series. Facing a liability of about $5 million if Houston upsets the Los Angeles Dodgers, McIngvale hedged the promotion through insurance policies and bets on the Astros at Las Vegas sports books.

“The vast, vast majority of the hedge was through the insurance companies,” McIngvale told the Review-Journal on Thursday. “But I did some hedging in Las Vegas. It’s all legal, it’s a hedge bet, and it’s all on Houston.

“The people there in the sports wagering industry were very accommodating and very nice.”

McIngvale declined to divulge the amount of his wagers, but an industry source estimated he bet a total of $1.8 million on the Astros to win the World Series.

More than 10 big bets on Astros

CG Technology sports book vice president Matt Holt said he couldn’t identify an individual customer, per company policy. But he said a bettor made a $300,000 wager on Houston to win the series at plus-160. After the Astros lost Game 1, the same bettor placed a $100,000 bet on Houston to win the series at plus-210.

After the Astros rallied to win a Game 2 for the ages, CG Technology took two separate $300,000 wagers on Houston to win Friday’s Game 3 at home, where Lance McCullers (minus-130) opposes Yu Darvish.

The South Point sports book reported taking a $300,000 bet on the Astros to win the series and a $100,000 bet on Houston to win Game 3.

Likewise, MGM Resorts sports books reported taking three six-figure wagers on the Astros to win the series and multiple six-figure bets on Houston to win Game 3.

“We are definitely rooting for the Dodgers right now,” The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback said.

Houston Strong

Despite the promotion, McIngvale is all in on Houston.

“I’m wearing my Astros orange right now,” he said. “I’ve got 142 tickets to the games I’m giving to our customers and employees, and we’re bleeding orange.

“It’s just a fun promotion for the customers. It’s not a bet with the customer. They can’t lose. They either get a great mattress and pay for it or they get a great mattress for free.”

Besides his promotions, which included $10 million in refunds when Donald Trump won the presidential election, McIngvale is famous in Houston for his philanthropy. When Hurricane Harvey hit, he opened the doors to his stores and let hundreds of people take refuge there for a few nights.

“Just like Las Vegas was torn apart by the horrible shooting, this town is still torn apart from the flood of biblical proportions. There were 1 million cars totaled,” he said. “So we’ll have some fun with the World Series. It’s a big deal, and Houston needs it.”

Sharp plays

Stoneback and Holt said they’ve each taken some sharp action on Minnesota, a 7-point home underdog to Iowa, which opened as an 8½-point favorite.

Holt said sharps also are on North Carolina State (+7½) over Notre Dame and Texas Tech (+20) over Oklahoma.

Stoneback said sharps also are on New Mexico State (+3) over Arkansas State, Mississippi State (-1) over Texas A&M and Ohio State (-6½) over Penn State.

Ohio State-Penn State

In a classic Joes vs. Pros game, the public is siding with the Nittany Lions, who are coming off a 42-13 romp over Michigan.

“If we made the line last week, it would’ve been more than 7,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said. “I like Ohio State. I just think they’re a little bit better than Penn State in every area, and they had a bye week. It sets up really good for them.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and TI sports book director Tony Nevill preview NFL Week 14.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 13
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 13 of the NFL regular season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 14
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 14 of the college football season. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci make their picks for NFL Week 6. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci maker their picks for Week 7 of college football. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week six of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week five of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week four of the NFL and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the second week of NFL football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the third week of college football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like