@MattressMack. Pictured: James McIngvale
- Two of Vegas' biggest sports bettors made the rounds this week.
- Duffel Bag Boy won big on Army's cover against San Jose State and is up nearly $1 million over the past two weekends.
- James "Mattress Mack" McIngvale also placed a huge wage on his beloved Houston Astros to win the World Series.
LAS VEGAS — Two of Las Vegas’ most infamous big bettors were making the rounds this week. Duffel Bag Boy, an anonymous big-time football bettor, and James “Mattress Mack” McIngvale (pictured above), a Houston-based millionaire, were both seen placing big bets up and down the Strip the past few days.
Duffel Bag Boy — who is reportedly from the East Coast — cleared more than $750,000 two weekends ago and has spent this football season placing huge bets up and down the Strip.
This past weekend started out well for the anonymous punter. Duffel Bag Boy had a huge hit on Army’s cover against San Jose State. That game netted him $260,000 at William Hill, the Westgate SuperBook and South Point.
Things took a downward turn for the deep-pocketed player on Sunday, however, as Duffel Bag Boy placed $100,000 on the Bears -4 (Chicago got to as high as -7 on Sunday) and also parlayed Chicago with the Rams.
One of Duffel Bag Boy’s favorite bets is fading Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have only covered the spread once this season (against Indiana in Week 5) so most of the oddsmakers at his favorite shops were expecting him to pound Maryland against Rutgers last Saturday. Strangely, he didn’t and the Terrapins covered.
“He’s bet against Rutgers steadily over the past two years and cleaned up,” South Point sportsbook supervisor Tim Fitzgerald said. “I am truly mystified as to why he didn’t play them last week. With as much as he’s up I’d expect he’ll blindly bet against them this weekend against Northwestern.”
According to my sources, Duffel Bag Boy is up nearly $1 million over the past two weekends, so expect him to come out firing this weekend.
According to John Murray, director of the Westgate Superbook, Duffel Bag Boy isn’t the type to sweat out a game in the sportsbook over a few cocktails.
“He’s all business,” Murray said. “If he asks for me it’s simply to inquire what types of limits may be available on a certain game he’s interested in. He’s not the type of guy who lingers around the sportsbook looking to get a free drink. He’s in and he’s out.”
Most big bettors around town try to keep a tight lid on their wagers, and while Duffel Bag Boy doesn’t mind the numbers getting out, he obviously values his anonymity.
The opposite is true of another large figure in Sin City — McIngvale.
“Mattress Mack” made a name for himself by winning more than $1 million betting on his beloved Houston Astros to win both the World Series and individual playoff games last season.
With the Astros in the American League Championship Series right now, McIngvale is back in Vegas. He stopped by the South Point to bet $150,000 on the Astros to win the World Series at 7-2. It has not been confirmed whether or not he’s betting individual games this October as he’s a more private gambler than Duffel Bag Boy.
Still, we got the scoop from Fitzgerald on how McIngvale’s trip to the South Point went down.
“So we get this call from the main cashier’s cage. One of the supervisors over there asks us who’s working tonight,” Fitzgerald started. “I tell them I’m here and they say they’re sending someone over. Right away I know something unusual is about to go down. I’m certainly expecting a big bettor to come over and I can list in my head most of the guys who that might be, so I’m kind of expecting to see one of them. You can see Mack coming a mile away since he’s all decked out in his Astros garb.
“He’s certainly not inconspicuous. Plus I recognize him since I dealt with him last year. He asks me how much he can bet on the Astros to win the World Series. I ask him ‘How much do you want?’ He tells me $150,000. So I have him wait a moment as I call either sportsbook manager Chris Andrews or senior oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro and get their OK. I get the thumbs up and he heads over to the main cage to get the money.”
Most of the time with big players — except for Duffel Bag Boy, of course — chips are used to make big wagers so you don’t have to waste the bettor’s time counting the cash.
And even though we all have images of how these types of transactions go down, the truth is that this isn’t the movies.
“After that we adjusted the line accordingly and that’s about it,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s really not flashy or all that big of a deal here. The bet isn’t made in a back room, there’s no special ticket printed, we do it through our tellers like any $50 or even $5 bettor would. In that sense they’re treated like any other bettor. And, honestly, most big players prefer that since it makes them more anonymous. Overall, the process really only takes about 10-15 minutes if you know what you’re doing.”
From a liability standpoint, Fitzgerald didn’t express too much concern how exposed South Point is on this particular bet.
“We’re getting plenty of Red Sox action that will balance out our numbers,” he said. “If the Astros were to still advance we’re fairly certain there will plenty of Dodgers or Brewers money to leave us with minimal exposure.”