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Pirates Fan Bets Against Team Every Game, Wins Money

Greg Mercer has been a Pirates fan since he was eight years old and even though he still likes the team, he spent the season betting that they’d lose every single game.

“I’m a realistic Pirates fan,” Mercer said. “Obviously I do cheer for the team to do well. But I know their limitations, I follow the players closely and I know they don’t have the talent necessary to a high caliber team right now.”

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So Mercer put his money where his mouth is.

He bet an average of $20 a game, betting either the Pirates wouldn’t cover the 1 ½ run spread or that they’d lose outright. In the end, he spent $3,250 and earned a profit of $324.34 — a 9.98 percent return. Pretty good considering the Dow, over the baseball season, has been flat.

Mercer said the key to him coming out on top was the Pirates losing as many games as they did — 105. Vegas bookmakers, he said, bet that the team would about 95 games.

Mercer says he usually goes to 10-12 games a year. His conflicted existence as a fan and a bettor only came into play during one particular time at PNC Park.

“There was one game where the Pirates were playing the Rockies,” Mercer said. “And the Pirates were ahead and the Rockies hit a hoe run to tie the game. So, of course, I was going crazy, although of course I shouldn’t have been. And then one of our best hitters, Pedro Alvarez, hit a home run to end the game. I was happy, but I was also like, ‘Man, I lost $20.’”

Mercer said he’ll spend the money he won on Penguins tickets.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com