Check or Raise?
So here is the scenario, you are in a heads-up game of high-stakes no-limit Texas hold’em. You get dealt pocket 7s, and decide to raise. Your opponent calls.
The flop comes, showing a 10 of clubs, 9 of clubs, and 4 of spades. You sense you’re ahead, but only slightly. You figure your opponent did not hit the board and probably has two over cards, but there are straight and flush draws out there, plus your opponents over cards, which leave him with a lot of outs. So what do you do—do you check or do you raise?
This is the predicament Chelsea find themselves in going into the 2nd leg of their Semi-final Champions League game away to Barcelona, and were it Poker, I would say raise, but then again I don’t really know too much about Poker—I’m more of a Snap man myself, but thought Poker worked better as a metaphor.
There is no denying Chelsea put in a stellar defensive performance, full of grit and determination in the 1st leg, but it has to be admitted they did ride their luck, and could easily have been two or three behind were it not for poor finishing. So should Chelsea go to the Camp Nou, defend deep and park the bus?
Well some have parked the bus successfully on their trips to Barcelona and enjoyed the ride home, but most have received a parking ticket and had the bus towed away. Others have gone and played Barca at their own game, pressing them high up the pitch. Espanyol did and Barca did not seem too keen on the taste of their own medicine. Real Madrid also did so over the weekend, and inflicted Barca’s first home defeat in 54 games—though Barca had not lost in the last 8 occasions to Real, so were probably due a loss.
There is no doubt about the way Barcelona will be approaching the game, they need to score and will be throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Chelsea. Barca tend to hold a high line at the home, which leaves acres of space for a striker to run in behind, and it will be interesting to see if Chelsea will try to exploit this by starting Torres—who has scored 7 times against Barcelona in 10 games—or stick with Drogba to give them an outlet.
Either way, it seems Chelsea and everyone else expects Barcelona to go all-in.