Yes, absoluthammis mistaken about the prize structure.
In a $5.50 game $.50 goes to rake, $2.50 goes to the knock out pool, and $2.50 goes to the regular payout pool.
So if you start with 3,000 chips you can immediately cash those out for $2.50 and leave the game. (300 chips is worth $.25)
If you have 20,000 chips you can cash out 6,600 to get your $5.50 back and keep the remaining 13,400 to play with.
Some of us played some Cashout games together, and we discussed it a bit in that thread
At the end of the tournament (final table I think) the $ from the cashout pool gets dumped into the prize pool. So suddenly the payout for the top places jumps way up.