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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

New Jersey sports books could lose millions to high roller ‘Mattress Mack’ if Astros win World Serie

The Houston Astros are one game away from winning the World Series, something that would be costly for New Jersey sports books — largely due to one bettor who doesn’t even live here but has wagered around $4 million on the Astros winning it all.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has been making headlines back in his home state of Texas for the large bets he has been placing on the Astros to win it all. The furniture mogul who owns three Gallery Furniture stores in Houston is offering a promotion to his customers where he would give full refunds up to $3,000 if the Astros win.

“I believe in the Astros,’’ McIngvale told the Asbury Park Press. “I’ve watched them play all year.”

The bets are in part a hedge against the cost of the promotion, said Darren Rovell, a sports business analyst and betting expert who works for Action Network.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is kicking himself….

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:23 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, gambling, new jersey, world series

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   1. Rally Posted: October 30, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5896216)
And they'll lose millions if the Nationals win. But they'll also make millions under either scenario, and almost certainly have a guaranteed profit.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5896251)
the Jersey books lost money on the Super Bowl, and I suspect they'll collectively lose money if the Astros win.

or at least, FanDuel is likely to do so, having taken a $1.5M Astros bet from Mack at the Meadowlands a couple of weeks ago.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5896263)
the Jersey books lost money on the Super Bowl, and I suspect they'll collectively lose money if the Astros win.

or at least, FanDuel is likely to do so, having taken a $1.5M Astros bet from Mack at the Meadowlands a couple of weeks ago.


Howie, are you seriously telling me there are major sports books out there that don't know how to lay off their excess action? I mean, how dumb can they be? Your neighborhood bookie knows to do that.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5896392)
The bets are in part a hedge against the cost of the promotion, said Darren Rovell, a sports business analyst and betting expert who works for Action Network.
That's why they pay him the big bucks.
   5. bob gee Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5896406)
snapper - they also don't want to take action from people they think might be winners:

https://www.theringer.com/2019/6/5/18644504/sports-betting-bettors-sharps-kicked-out-spanky-william-hill-new-jersey

they'll take as much action as you want to provide, unless you win...


   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5896476)
snapper - they also don't want to take action from people they think might be winners:

Isn't this pretty easy to evade with strawman bettors?
   7. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 30, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5896479)
the Jersey books lost money on the Super Bowl, and I suspect they'll collectively lose money if the Astros win.


This seems odd given the sorts of odds that Vegas was giving the Astros before the Series. We had a thread about it - Vegas was showing the Astros as like 70% odds to win. Did New Jersey not get the memo? Or is there some weird limit to how large a favorite they can make one of the teams?
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5896487)
snapper - they also don't want to take action from people they think might be winners:
How is that legal? If they're allowed to rig things so that 99.5% of people will lose over time, they shouldn't be allowed to also ban or restrict the other 0.5% of people to boot.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5896499)
How is that legal? If they're allowed to rig things so that 99.5% of people will lose over time, they shouldn't be allowed to also ban or restrict the other 0.5% of people to boot.

Generally casino laws are written so they can exclude anyone they want to. The State's in cahoots with them because they don't want anyone beating their revenue source.

Card counters are the obvious example. Card counting is totally legal, but so is the casino banning you if they figure out what you're doing.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5896511)
well, the question is how does the $1.5M bet on the Astros compare to the total wagered on each team - we don't know that yet. I think the average bet is $82. if they don't take any six-figure bets - much less seven - on Washington, might be tough to even the score.

it's true, though, that FD is operating in more than one state. they analyzed the situation and decided they were happy with the odds given Mack and the amount bet. it's not like one can just sneak in and make a wager like that.

PointsBet, and Australian company that operates in NJ, makes it a, well, point to accept big bets from "sharps."

incidentally, with PointsBet you can take a point spread or ever/under and win or lose extra based on every point the result diverges from the line. you can win or lose 20x or 30x on one game, for example, though pre-bet you set maximums and minimums (yes, has a stock market feel).

talk about sports betting on steroids.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5896521)
I'm sure after the first game, or at least after the second, they could have added a fair amount of action on the WAS side with the appropriate odds.
   12. Traderdave Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5896522)
Generally casino laws are written so they can exclude anyone they want to. The State's in cahoots with them because they don't want anyone beating their revenue source.

Card counters are the obvious example. Card counting is totally legal, but so is the casino banning you if they figure out what you're doing.


I know it's legal and I know that my kvetching about it will never change it, but I've always thought it was bullshlt and downright offensive that they can advertise the lure of riches to the general public, welcome the general public into their place of business, but boot out anyone who can beat them.
   13. Sunday silence Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5896525)
They should find a way to publicly support these sports books that go bust so we dont lose gambling.
   14. Sunday silence Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5896527)

Howie, are you seriously telling me there are major sports books out there that don't know how to lay off their excess action? I mean, how dumb can they be? Your neighborhood bookie knows to do that.


BUt dont you also have to find the next bettor who wants to throw down $4M on WAS? Right? I mean how many days do you have to do that? And its not like all the outlets have the same access to all the bettors. At some pt. doesnt the action just dry up and there's no more money to gamble with?
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: October 30, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5896533)
I assume big sportsbooks don't need to lay off excess action. I'd guess that they can absorb a big loss, and in the long run the big wins (for them) more than make up for it.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2019 at 03:21 PM (#5896578)
yes, as Nasty Nate says, the bookmakers expect to make big money, in the long run, on the big bets based on the odds they set.

meanwhile out in Vegas

Patrick Everson
@Covers_Vegas
MGM sportsbooks hold the following tickets:

$500K Astros +160 to win World Series, made 2 weeks ago. To win $800K.
$300K Astros +220 to win World Series, before Game 3, with Houston down 2-0. To win $660K.
$25K Astros 4/1 to win in seven games, made pre-Game 3.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5896587)
BUt dont you also have to find the next bettor who wants to throw down $4M on WAS? Right? I mean how many days do you have to do that? And its not like all the outlets have the same access to all the bettors. At some pt. doesnt the action just dry up and there's no more money to gamble with?

Typically they would lay it off with other bookies that have action the other way. For illegal betting the mafia was involved.

If you've got a NY-LA World Series, NY bookies are going to get too much action on NY, and LA bookies the reverse, so they lay off action to each other to guarantee both make money.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5896602)
If you've got a NY-LA World Series, NY bookies are going to get too much action on NY, and LA bookies the reverse, so they lay off action to each other to guarantee both make money.

that's still partly true.

but again, bookmakers with modern analytical tools are comfortable making wagers like the Mattress Mack ones. Mack wanted a slightly better number on his Astros, but FD didn't budge - their models liked one number but were just meh on the next number. it's that close now, in the numbers.
   19. manchestermets Posted: October 31, 2019 at 06:00 AM (#5897248)
Also, the (legal) LA and NY bookies these days are the same people, aren't they?
   20. bob gee Posted: October 31, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5897274)
Snapper - In that Ringer article, the author is the strawman bettor. Asks if there is a limit, is told there is no limit. Asks if he can bet 10k on a game, they say yes, as long as you fill out paperwork. He fills out paperwork, goes to bet 10k on an NIT game, and is told he can only bet 5k by "them", who is Vegas.

Later in the article, "My second bet of the day is limited to $1,000. The teller can’t believe it. “I’ve never seen that before,” he remarks after reading the message on the screen from William Hill’s trading office in Las Vegas. “I’ve taken bigger bets than this before.” " - and the bettor / author hasn't *won* a game yet.

So if someone is new / betting on a game that triggers a flag (more information on that later in the article) they'll STILL slow down your betting.


   21. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:47 AM (#5897389)
Also, the (legal) LA and NY bookies these days are the same people, aren't they?

they are no legal bookies in LA or anywhere in California - nor in dozens of other states, though the tide is turning.

as for limiting a new bettor who seeks a large wager, that doesn't strike me as crazy. why is he suddenly dipping his toe into gambling waters with a big bet? is he related to one of the athletes?
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5897394)
The furniture mogul who owns three Gallery Furniture stores in Houston
Does owning three furniture stores really get you to where you can afford to lose $4 million on a World Series bet?
   23. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5897402)
I know it's legal and I know that my kvetching about it will never change it, but I've always thought it was bullshlt and downright offensive that they can advertise the lure of riches to the general public, welcome the general public into their place of business, but boot out anyone who can beat them.


I've been to Vegas once, many years ago. I was using a very rudimentary card counting system, and within 5 minutes some goon comes up to me and tells me I can no longer vary my bets. I was at a ####### $5 table. I have never felt the desire to go into a casino since.
   24. manchestermets Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5897424)
they are no legal bookies in LA or anywhere in California - nor in dozens of other states, though the tide is turning.


Ah, fair enough.

as for limiting a new bettor who seeks a large wager, that doesn't strike me as crazy. why is he suddenly dipping his toe into gambling waters with a big bet? is he related to one of the athletes?


They're only a new bettor to that bookie though, as far as they know, aren't they? Would it be legal for the bookies to be sharing customer lists?
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5897427)
EDIT: Double post.
   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5897429)

Does owning three furniture stores really get you to where you can afford to lose $4 million on a World Series bet?

I imagine these are IKEA-sized stores. According to this link,

Mack McIngvale estimates that his total ad spend for his three stores is $10 million a month for the three stores, which he expects “will probably do $200 million to $250 million” in total sales in 2018.


So he probably looks at this promotion as part of an annual $100+ million marketing budget, rather than simply a $4 million bet.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5897430)
spend
Still not a noun.
   28. bob gee Posted: October 31, 2019 at 01:32 PM (#5897468)
Howie - It's a lot more defensible if you're a new person putting down a large bet on some lesser-bet event. In which case most houses should have some rule, such as "you can bet X on a division 1 NCAA basketball game, but some number less than X on a division 3 NCAA basketball game".

They don't - it's not based off of how much action they can spread around (which requires a little more work) but to get only the less-knowledgable bettors to come into their place.

One of the common ways to offset is to, if the line is say 4, is to say "we'll give a bet for 5000 @-4, another 7500 @-4.5, and another 10000 @5". If 4 is the "right" line, the casino should be all happy to get another 1/2 point or 1 point for more betting...but many of them don't have someone who is knowledgable about the lines.

Another thing some bookies do, as stated in the article, is follow the lead of the smart bettor...so if he bets 5000 through you, and you know he's good, you might bet 2500 through 4 other bookies on the same trade. That's part of how Tim Donaghy was caught.

EDIT: I don't know if casinos share bettors names, but wouldn't surprise me if they shared pictures, a la Griffin's book.

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