EVO Training Mode

Regular readers will know that I haven't mastered the art of pre-race horse trading. Indeed, I've essentially given it up, at least for now, and barely done any for the past 6-8 weeks. Instead, I've been concentrating on laying and developing other system strategies. One problem with that however, is the boredom factor as races in which I have no interest, pass me by. It can lead to a long and frustrating afternoon.

With three meetings on this afternoon, I decided to look at those races where no lays where involved and see if I can put the training mode of Evolution 3.0 into practice.

Now, I should come clean up front. My feeling towards the artificial nature of training modes is somewhat ambivalent. Only once before have I tried such a tool. Some of you may be familiar with the BetIE application. Not the greatest software that I've ever used, and I don't even know if it is still available, but it had a trading mode in which I developed a number of strategies, which, when implemented for real, fell apart.

Therein lies the rub as far as training modes are concerned. Because the 'pretend' money you use with such facilities never hits the real market, it can be very easy to find yourself believing a strategy would work when in reality, it may be fundamentally flawed.

That is not to say that I believe training modes are a waste of time. Far from it. They can be a very useful tool, but it is important that they are treated as such. They provide another point on the very long learning curve that we all want to ultimately climb. With this in mind, I believe it is important that the following general points are considered when looking at testing a strategy with EVO Training Mode (or any other such facility for that matter).

1. While your training money might be matched when testing, there is no guarantee that the same stake would be matched in the real market. The larger the stake, the less likely it is to be matched in any particular market. To help mitigate that effect when testing, one should keep the testing stake an order of magnitude smaller than the amount of money in the real market. This will give you more confidence that the stake would be matched in the real world and lend a greater degree of confidence to the strategy under test.

2. Similarly, very large amounts of money suddenly coming into the market can severely influence that market. An effect that wouldn't be seen by large amounts of your pretend money. So, don't go testing with huge amounts. The results would simply not be indicative of a live market.

3. Never underestimate the psychological effects of playing with real money. Your mind WILL react differently when it knows, albeit subconsciously, that your wallet might be hit. So, even if you test a strategy for weeks before going live, when you do so, only use small amounts so that the training results are corroborated in the real world. Then you can think about building up your staking levels.

Today I went back to the pre-race trading scene to try some different ideas. Not only that, I wanted to play around in running as well. So armed with EVO Training Mode, I used £100 stakes pre-race, always hedging before the off. I then used £10 stakes with a 5 tick offset in running, getting out of the market long before the finish and the market went bonkers.

The results I had were very interesting. I only had 3 pre-race trades that ended all red - £1, £6 and £18. Two of those were turned green in-running with the other effectively scratched. I didn't take note of the number of races I got involved in, but I guess it was around 10-12. What was startling was the return at the end of play this afternoon. £209.33!

Given my historical inability to master these markets, this points to one of two things. Either EVO Training Mode is complete, utter tosh and incapable of representing the real market (I don't believe that keeping in mind my earlier points) OR all my pre-race horse racing issues have been in my head. Not withstanding the caveats listed above, I think it more than likely the latter is the cause of my failures.

It is a very important discovery for me, albeit something I have suspected for sometime. To have confirmation of that in such a dramatic way, gives me something to work on. An area that needs addressing if I ever want to reliably master the art of pre-race horse trading.

I shall continue to use EVO Training Mode for a few weeks, simply to confirm that today wasn't a flash in the pan. One thing is for sure, it has given me a lot to think about.

If you want to investigate your trading skills and test new strategies, download BetTrader Evolution to gain access to the training tool.


Evening Update: I had a further play during some of the evening races at Wolverhampton and increased the training profit for today to £231! If only that were real money. I'm looking forward to further experiments with this in the hope it will finally sort things out for me.

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