Mika Immonen was born on December 17, 1972 in Paddington, London, England's. Christened Mika Ilari after the noted Finnish author Mika Waltari, he was delivered one of two boys alongside fraternal twin brother Kari Jalmari.
Mika and Kari showed early athletic prowess along with a healthy competitive streak and both enjoyed competing in basketball and ice hockey among other popular sports. It would be an unbearably cold winters night that would find a then 16 year old Mika and his friends seeking refuge in the newly opened Blliard Parlor near his childhood home. He watched, mesmerized by this gentleman's game being played known as Kaisa ( a.k.a. Carolina ), a Russian pocket billiards game using a long table with tight pockets and large balls. That would be his introduction to the first game he learned on the felt and within a year's time Mika became so adept at Kaisa that he would be encouraged by the parlors owner to play in a tournament in a nearby city and brought home his first tournament victory : a ham!! Soon thereafter the name Mika Immonen would no longer be unknown as he burst into competitive acknowledgement besting the all-time Russian Grandmaster, Ashot Potikyan! This was an amazing feat, and perhaps, to the youngster, a glimpse into his future.
MIka went on to master the more well known game of Snooker and by the late 80's brought home his first national championship victory. A self-described breakthrough year during that period saw him begin to appear on the 8-ball circuit and after defeating Ralph Souquet he found himself competing against Johnny Archer, Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante. The year 1992 found him making results and placing but not closing, a disappointment for the aspiring champ and his supporters as well. Later that year by ironing out sticking points in his game, he would win the first European tour in Belgium and Germany but not without a test of his now well known resolve, against Tom Storm. Later, appearing in Taiwan tournaments, Mika began to fully realize his potential. "I knew I had the guts and talent to do it; it was just about learning it."