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Houston Mattress Magnate bets millions on Astros to win World Series

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People in Houston need no introduction to Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who owns Gallery Furniture in Houston. A lot of sports fans may not either, as he’s made quite a name for himself by associating his business with both the highs and lows of the Houston Astros over the years.

I don’t know much about his business at large, but he’s been on our radar for several years. Back in 2014, when the Astros were absolutely terrible, he promised a customers who spent a certain amount of money on furniture at his store a refund if the Astros didn’t lose 100 games that year. They lost only 92 games and Mattress Mack had to pay out $4 million or so in refunds. In 2017 he did a similar thing except this time he offered big refunds if the Astros won the World Series. Which they did, of course, which cost Mattress Mack around $12 million.

Mattress Mack is at it again this year. He’s been offering customers who spend over $3,000 on stuff a refund if the Astros once again win the World Series, as they’re favored to do.

One might think that this is irresponsible, but you probably don’t become a successful furniture salesman if you’re not savvy about such things. I mean, without even knowing anything about the guy or listening to him explain himself, it’s a very safe assumption that the guy simply — and correctly — figured that his offer was great, mostly free advertising, that it increased sales volume and that it might’ve inspired people on the fence to buy something. His margins, along with some well-thought-out conditions on the refund offer, no doubt ensures that his “crazy” promotion will do more good than harm for his business.

Oh, and he’s getting some insurance for his offer too. In the from of laying bets on the Astros in order to mitigate his losses should Houston win the World Series. From ESPN:

A Houston furniture salesman, attempting to mitigate millions of dollars in potential refunds from a promotion, placed one of the largest bets ever taken by a U.S. bookmaker on Tuesday at a Mississippi sportsbook.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, bet $3.5 million on the Astros to win the World Series at the DraftKings sportsbook at Scarlet Pearl casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. At +220 odds, the wager would pay a net $7.7 million if the Astros win the World Series.

And he’s continuing to lay bets, which he notes is much easier this time around than it was in 2017 given how many states have legalized sports gambling in the past year or so.  The story gives a good look at how bets that size compare to the usual action at sports books and makes it clear that Mattress Mack is not dabbling here. It’s probably also worth noting that, in addition to mitigating the refund offer, the story of his big bets are some good P.R. for his image as a wheelin’-dealin’ Texas businessman, and that likewise helps his brand a good deal too.

I’m not sure if it’s too late to get in on the refund offer, but if you’re in the market for an expensive mattress, I highly recommend the Tempurpdic LuxeAdapt. Life changer, man. Life changer.

 

Apparent roster snafu changes Blue Jays pitching plans

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ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.

After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.

As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.

The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.

Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.

Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.