I started out online with the "free money" games about 5 years ago, I made a million in chips pretty easily and then donked them off playing as crazy as everyone else. Once my goal was attained of reaching that Million mark, "free chips" lost it's luster and I lost interest in playing.
It's probably different for everyone but I didn't regain interest until I started playing with real money
. And lol reaching that million goal in real money ain't as easy as it was with free chips.
I didn't have the patience as some folks here do to play freerolls to get into the money and then try real money games so I bought in.
Free chips and real money are two completely different animals, kinda like playing low limit nickel and dime is different from playing the high stakes 10,000 dollar buy-in's.
If you enjoy the game you'll answer this question yourself as you discover the nuances between then different games as you experiance them. In my opinon it can hurt and it can help, it's up to the individual and their own learning curve.
They didn't have the opportunity's 5 years ago at real money in freerolls for "fun money" entrys as they have today. Frankly I like the plan a lot of people here and around the net have for freerolling thier way into real money and then using managment skills to build a bankroll.
It's tough, it's real hard, there's lots of competition, I wouldn't personally want to do it but theres a lot to say about the accomplishment if you can do it that way. Good Luck