Mattress Mack is known primarily for selling furniture and making massive, multi-million-dollar wagers on sporting events. The businessman — who is based in Houston, Texas — is now making his presence felt in another part of the entertainment industry: the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Mattress Mack is supporting a poker stable this summer at the WSOP. A poker stable is a group of players backed by the same organization or a single person. In this case, Mattress Mack is the lone backer of his stable and will pay entry fees that allow players to compete in each tournament.
The arrangement came to be after Mattress Mack became impressed with the performance of Houston poker pro Will Leffingwell. It made him consider investing some money in poker, as Leffingwell explained to PokerNews at the WPT Choctaw Main Event in mid-May.
“(Mattress Mack) told a friend of mine he wanted to meet me, so I ended up meeting him and he told me he wanted to put some people in the Main Event this year,” Leffingwell said. “So, he told me, I need a Cowboy to find me some horses to go out there (to Las Vegas) this summer.”
Leffingwell rounded up 13 other Houston-area players to help create the 14-person stable. The group has given itself the nickname “The Poker Stallions” and will be competing on Mattress Mack’s dime in 2022. They will be given a chance to keep 40 percent of their individual profits under the backing arrangement with additional incentives available for individual and team performance.
So, Mattress Mack is going to have a sizeable presence at the WSOP over the summer, but it certainly won’t be the only place where he is well-known.
Who is Mattress Mack, and how did he become such a well-known figure in Texas and beyond? Here’s everything to know about the mattress salesman turner sports bettor turned financial backer at the WSOP.
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Who is Mattress Mack?
“Mattress Mack” is the nickname of Houston-area businessman Jim McIngvale. The 71-year-old founded Gallery Furniture in 1981 and turned it into one of Houston’s largest furniture stores.
McIngvale became a local-area icon after starring in a commercial for Gallery Furniture in 1983. He improvised a rapid-paced monologue about the store, according to its official website, and created the “save you money” slogan in the process.
Though Gallery Furniture has always come first for Mattress Mack, he has focused on other career pursuits, too. In 1992, he and his wife Linda were executive producers of the Chuck Norris film “Sidekicks.” In 2002, he co-authored a book called “Always Think Big,” which outlined his career as an entrepreneur. He also has been a philanthropist, investing in the city of Houston and opening his stores to needy families during natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Ida.
More recently, Mattress Mack has become known for being a big-time sports bettor. He has made massive, seven-figure wagers on events like the World Series, March Madness tournament, the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby.
Those big bets have earned him plenty of attention. They have both outlined his risk-tolerant gambling and have highlighted his high net worth, which stems from his success at Gallery Furniture.
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Mattress Mack’s net worth 2022
McIngvale’s net worth as of 2022 is $300 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com. Not bad for a guy who started his furniture business with his $5,000 in life savings.
Mattress Mack’s businesses
McIngvale has largely focused on Gallery Furniture during his entrepreneurial career. He is the driving force within the store and made it one of the most successful independent retailers in the country. Furniture World Magazine reported in 2014 that McIngvale’s two stores do about $150 million in sales per year and “sell the most furniture in the nation per square foot.”
Over the years, Mattress Mack has focused on providing his customers with “an energetic and pleasant shopping experience.” In fact, he has turned Gallery Furniture into something of an experience.
The stores provide their customers with baked goods and refreshments on the weekends. Additionally, both locations house exotic animals like parrots and monkeys as another form of entertainment for customers.
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Mattress Mack’s biggest bets, betting record
McIngvale has routinely made seven-figure bets in recent years, but there is a reason for them.
Typically, McIngvale uses his wagers to counteract his in-store promotions. So, for example, he has bet the Astros to win the World Series on numerous occasions as a safety net in case he has to refund customers for their purchases.
Essentially, betting is Mattress Mack’s version of buying an insurance policy. He usually stands to profit from this approach, whether it’s from the sales in the store or from the payouts on his bets. However, some bets he makes just for fun; they have been a mixed bag.
Below are some of Mattress Mack’s most notable bets, including his recent wagers on the Astros’ World Series odds, Bengals’ Super Bowl odds and Epicenter’s chances to win the Kentucky Derby.
|2022||Astros to win World Series||$4 million||TBD|
|2022||Epicenter to win Kentucky Derby||$1.5 million||Loss|
|2022||Kansas to win NCAA Tournament||$5.5 million||Win ($10.4 million profit)|
|2022||Bengals to win Super Bowl 56||$9.5 million||Loss|
|2022||Patriots to win Super Bowl 56||$2 million||Loss|
|2022||Titans to win Super Bowl 56||$0.7 million||Loss|
|2022||Alabama to win College Football Playoff||$6.15 million||Loss|
|2021||Astros to win World Series||$3.35 million||Loss|
|2021||Buccaneers (+3.5) in Super Bowl 55||$3.46 million||Win ($2.75 million profit)|
|2020||Titans to win AFC Championship Game||$1 million||Loss|
|2019||Astros to win World Series||$5 million||Loss|