Prior to the '07 series, poker sites
would give seats as prizes, and it was use it or lose it. The organizers specifically banned the practice last year and forced the sites to award the buy-in/travel expenses as cash, leaving the decision up to the individual. That's why the number of entrants dropped last year for the first time since the Moneymaker/Rounders generation of poker players were born.
Hypothetically, I'd say take the money, cash out & see how you do in local casino tourneys for a year. If you've managed to grow your br, try a satellite in Vegas, otherwise, it wasn't meant to be.