Preppers are people who are looking to ensure that they are prepared for emergencies that could see normal life interrupted. For example, food shortages, power outages, a lack of clean water, even the lack of rule of law. It can mean that they must survive on whatever materials, food, tools and equipment they have on hand. Therefore, a key strategy is to ensure they are in possession of the most valuable things in such a scenario.
In a real-life scenario, preppers may need to live with little or nothing available to them, finding food and living off the land.
Prepping is not the only sphere where we may be required to make something from nothing. In the world of poker, Chris Moneymaker went from a nine-to-five job as an accountant to a professional poker player in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) with only $86. Chris very much has the prepper mentality of “do it yourself,” learning poker techniques and refining his strategy by playing online before going on to win $2.5 million after securing 1st place in his first WSOP tournament. This success made him a star among the poker community, which has allowed him to go further, with book deals and a PokerStars tour.
Although the number of preppers is higher in the USA, they can be found all over the world, including Australia, Canada and Great Britain. No matter where they are located, however, preppers can learn a few things from poker players to refine and perfect their strategies:
Practice Makes Perfect
Being prepared is not just about having the tools and equipment you need. It’s also about being able to use them effectively. Poker and prepping are like any other skill in life, you need to practice them as well as refine and hone your skills. Once you have developed them, you need to regularly refresh these skills to keep them from going rusty.
If you’re playing poker but haven’t racked up many hours of practice time, how can you be confident that you are making the right decisions? Is your opponent bluffing? Should you fold? Without practice, these are questions you won’t be able to answer with any degree of certainty.
Prepping is the same. So, you have an ax that you plan to use to chop down trees, perhaps with the intention of making firewood. But when (if ever) was the last time that you felled a tree? If you have done it, was it with an ax or did you use a chainsaw? Are you confident that you can learn that skill in a real scenario, with many other variables? It’s probably best to make sure you know how to use any equipment that you plan to use to keep you alive.
Build a Community
Nobody is a one-person army, no matter how many “Rambo” films you have watched. So, building up a network of like-minded people is critical, whether you’re putting together your preparedness plan or working on your poker strategy. A community of people allows you to discuss strategies, find weaknesses in your plans (or your poker playing) and help each other succeed. Your support group can watch your back while you simultaneously watch theirs…unless, of course, you are playing poker together.
In a scenario where your preparations are tested, it is quite possible that this may make you a target for someone who is less prepared than you or not prepared at all. Therefore, another strategy to borrow from the world of poker is bluffing. In poker, a player may bluff to make his or her opponents believe they hold better cards than they do, meaning that even with a weak hand, they may still win the game.
Related article: Surviving When SHTF – How To Tell When People Are Lying To You
For a prepper, the bluffing will be in the opposite direction. Instead of wanting people to believe you have a strong hand, you will want them to believe you have a weak one. If they don’t believe you have anything useful, they won’t try to take it from you. This technique is referred to as OPSEC (Operations Security) in the prepper world. It is a similar strategy to trying to look poor while being wealthy so that you do not attract attention.
In conclusion, there are several transferable skills between poker and prepping. These may prove quite useful if/when the time comes to put them into practice.
This article has been written by Daisy Smith for Prepper’s Will.