Uhm, of course he is going to play ATP events over Challengers
More money to be had.
Great fight from Cipo on what is definitely not his best surface
Well if he had lost 1R (which he could have depending on who he drew, and given that this is a terrible surface for him) he gets less money than if he made the final or won Burnie (or Kazan). Sure he would have to reach the final, but it was far more likely there. (if he loses to Simon he also gets less than if he wins Kazan)
If this were a 500 tournament I could understand (for money), or if there were no other winnable HC Challengers this week, but both weren't true.