That said, I won't complain with anything. I would probably cut it to 3 at this point, put a lot of pressure on winning once in the playoffs. Even if it's the #1 seed getting upset, if we do the $50 side prizes option then they make their money back.
Assuming we still go buy-in... I say we treat Hess as an amateur golfer. His place doesn't effect payout, though if he wins he'll be recognized as champion. So...$50x11 players = $550. I say just top 3 under the circumstances get paid. $325/$125/$75 with $25 to first place regular season. Or $300/$125/$75 with $50 to reg season champ. Alternatively, you could split the $50 to regular season champ into two pools - $25 to the regular season champ and $25 to regular season most points. I'd say 6x buy in is fair...puts the main focus on winning. Second gets a decent turn around, third place makes a little money and 1 or two "side prizes"