I definitely can't fault your reasoning, but I come to a different conclusion.
The raise-or-fold strategy is certainly a quality idea that would avoid the awkwardness of this situation completely.But there are certain BB opponents that give the idea of limping from the SB some appeal.These opponents have the following characteristics:- They will always call a raise from the SB when in the BB.- They will call you down postflop with very marginal hands.- They will only bet/raise with monsters (preflop and post flop).- They are predictable and obvious.When in a hand with these opponents, the following important facts hold true:- I will get several free cards because these opponents will rarely show aggression.- When I hit my hand, I will get paid off several bets.
- Always call my raise PF? Fine by me. More money for me when I win. More money for me when I get him to fold the flop. More money for him when he hits. That's ok, I've got two chances to win the pot to his one.- Post flop strategy depends on player style and reads. Even someone who calls marginal hands will occasionally fold when he has nothing. If he doesn't fold, I'll evaluate my high card strength v. what I think he's got and what comes on the board.- If I know for a fact he will only bet or raise with monsters, he can have my one small bet. How often is he going to have a monster?- I like playing against predictable and obvious players. It makes it easy for me to win a lot and lose a little.- I can get free cards by being the aggressor, representing a big hand PF. I can check when I want to and take a free card too.- When I hit my hand, I will get paid off several bets. +1 small bet
The culmination of these facts gives me the following ideas:- Bluffing is a bad idea because I will usually be called down; thus my fold equity is nominal. (This includes a preflop raise when I don't have a strong hand.)- I am likely to see a cheap flop by limping.- I reap the rewards of implied odds if I hit my hand, and lose little if I miss because I only am investing the minimum to see most of the cards.
- Keeping up with a bluff is a bad idea. But, my high card may be best. I may have options beyond just hitting a pair, and again, since he likely has nothing I can take it from him. Here, I'm evaluating the board, my reads and my cards.- I reap the rewards of implied odds too if I hit my hand. I may lose one extra small bet once in a while, but my aggression could scare him into not betting or raising his better hand. I get to max out my money earned against him, but he may save me bets by being too afraid to pull the trigger.
Under those circumstances, I would prefer to limp with my T9o and see a cheap flop.If the flop comes down AT2, I can comfortably lead out and easily be called down by a less hand.
If I hit my hand, I can comfortably lead out middle pair no matter what. Again, chances are he missed. If he did, he paying to draw to at best six outs. He might have hit a lesser hand. And, he might not raise me with an Ace - I save a bet.
However, if after I limped with my T9o, my predictable opponent put in an uncharacteristic preflop raise, I am no longer in the comfortable spot I was in the previous example.If I call this raise, and the flop is the same AT2, I no longer am able to lead with my middle pair and win some easy bets.Because remember, even if this opponent does not have an Ace, he will call me down with his QQ.Thus seeing this flop when I knew I was behind preflop doesn't have much value any more.
If a predictable player only raises with a monster 3 bets me PF, then I'll fit or fold.If I can get a hand like QQ to never raise me, I'll take the cheap cards to beat him.