Originally Posted by dakota-xx
Freerolls are only a waste of time as far as learning to play poker - but they are awesome for building bankrolls so use them for that.
I couldn't disagree more. While freerolls may start out very loose they very much approximate real money play at the final table level or even as the field diminishes.
If you make it deep in a freeroll there is a lot you can learn from playing at that level. Many sites have freeroll leaderboards and you will notice many of the same names dominate the top 10 time and time again: this is no coincidence. It does take skill to consistently beat these games.
I've played in two $215 buy-in tourneys on Carbon and to be honest they played JUST LIKE freerolls. lol. I was surprised! People were not very conservative with their chipstacks. This could be due to the fact that Rebuys and Addons were permitted but that would beg the question: who is throwing upwards of $1000 at a single tournament?
In any case, I wish you much luck in your quest for poker proficiency. I'd stick primarily to freerolls and if you want to deposit every few months go ahead. This is what I have been doing for about 11 months now. Doing this I have been net positive to break even (probably a few hundred dollars in the green after I subtract my deposits from my cashout).
When I decided to take this poker journey almost a year ago I vowed I would not become a degenerate gambler and so I make sure that there is a significant amount of time between deposits and since it is only my first year I have been pretty cheap with the deposits (i think i deposited twice, once was $50 the other $100....or something like that..i don't even remember actually). In the coming year I will deposit more most likely as long as I see progress in my freeroll play; after all, if I can not beat the freerolls, what would make me think I can beat the real money games?
Throwing money at a losing strategy won't magically turn it into a winning one. And if you have a winning strategy it can be tweaked to win freerolls or real-money games: just ask Chris Ferguson who turned $0 into $10,000 playing freerolls: http://pokerworks.com/poker-strategy/beginner-poker-strategy/chris-ferguson-turns-0-into-10-000-on-full-tilt-poker.html
And if you doubt that there are any poker professionals who came up by starting with freerolls you'd be wrong. One of the best professional poker players in the world, Annette Obrestad started out playing freerolls, then progressed to SnG's and from there to MTT's: you can read about it here: http://www.pokerlistings.com/poker-player_annette-obrestad
Jason Somerville, another up-and-comer in the poker world who some are ordaining as the "New Negreanu"also played freerolls primarily before he made the transition to real money games. Read about him here: http://www.pokerpages.com/players/poker-biography/jason-somerville.htm
These are just a few pros who have started their poker journeys via freerolls; I am sure there are many others