I will agree with the apparent consensus on the first two points: Keep Monday start and current deadline. I like the 1-point for losing on day 1, but I would say that they only get that point if they make a pick. If they commit but don't make a pick, then no points.
Okay, picking for day 1 would be commitment, we'll delete that IN rule from the first post of the threads.
Edit: And how about the first tournaments. Which tournaments will be played, maybe an early poll should be opened already so that we have a clear view. Some people want to play other games in the same tournament with early commitments, like TT. In this case it is nice to know on beforehand which tournament will be played!
We can open them right away for the weeks before AO. But they usually stay open until Friday before the tournament start or so. I don't play TT, how much earlier do you need them to close? That's no problem at all.