HOUSTON – Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale said he has a problem.
Exactly which one, is up to debate between him and his wife.
“My wife says I have a gambling problem. I don’t have a gambling problem, I have a promotional problem,” said McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture.
Anyway the Houston icon looks at it, the reality is that his problem is not a bad one to have.
A Game 5 Astros victory means the longtime furniture seller - and legendary sports gambler - is still very much alive in his quest to cash out over $35 million in Astros sports wagers.
How did he get to this point?
“I bet $2 million with William Hill, which is now Caesars to win $20 million. I bet one million with fan duel to win $10 million, and I bet with Score and Draft Kings $350,000 to win like $5 million at 16 to 1,” said McIngvale on Monday morning.
What Mack really is doing with this promotion is betting big on the Astros and himself to do what Las Vegas calls “hedge,” or essentially cover his bets.
“I’m betting to hedge the promotion and to enable these customers to get these free mattresses. I’m not gambling to just gamble,” said McIngvale.
Sports betting at this level takes creativity, strategy and work. The reason is that only a few states allow sports gambling. Texas is not one of them.
This has ended up forcing McIngvale to travel to certain states in search of the highest return on his wagers and to also ensure it’s all done legally.
Sports gambling executive, John Avello with Draft Kings, has dealt with McIngvale for years.
“I see him as a promoter, but I also see him as a better looking for value,” said Avello from Gus office in Las Vegas.
For Avello, McIngvale is one of a kind in the sports betting world with a simple strategy.
“He bets on things where he has got another side to whatever happens and it works out for him either way.”