When I first walked into Mafia Mike’s pool hall, a semi-circle layout of tables, evenly measured out in a big open space, thriving with light and vigor a pool Oasis — the place was alive and thriving with people playing pool. It was like coming home. I felt at ease — at one with the game. The pool arena exudes pool, and opens up into a room awash with green.
Mafia Mike’s pool hall is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google — but I rate it a 5. It’s a small place, but has a big feel at 2700 square feet, with six 7 ft Valley tables — which are open and rented at $6 an hour, rather than coin operated, dollar a game. They have 5 smoke filters spinning above — charcoal filtered — mounted in the ceiling that look like space age ceiling fans. They are very effective it appears; “You can sit here in the back of the bar and look up to the front and it’s clear,” says new owner Rhonda Wright.
MAFIA MIKE’S, Located at 686 US-90, Defuniak Springs, FL 32433 — plug them into Google Maps and come on out if your close enough to get out to their monthly, 32 player, race to 7 winners side (race to 5 on the one loss side) — the first Saturday of every month, registration starts at 11 am, players must be present and registered by 12 pm and the tournament beginning shortly thereafter — and ending in the finals later that evening sometime after 10 pm. Register early, because slots have been filling up fast and the tournament has been at capacity or near capacity since its inception January 2018.
Mike’s is spacious, and accommodating to players that love the Valley bar box experience.
Having entered 3 of their weekly 9 ball tournaments on Monday and Friday — placing 3rd twice and second once — getting beat twice 5-4, and then 5-4 again as he barely edged me out each time to take second — my friend and top level player Lee Caldwell taking down the tournament. They have several Chris’s out at Mafia Mike’s that are cool, guys named Dean, Scott, Rich, and Mike that all can run out.
In the monthly, Saturday 9 ball tournament that was held May 5th, Mafia Mike’s hosted the Cinco-De-Mayo-9-Ball-Race-To-7, double-elimination Blow Out — 2018, and several top players showed up. Race to 5 on the one-loss side. Jason Jones won the last event, a known pro caliber player that enters in tournaments in the surrounding areas. Sign up now for the next event;
Call Mafia Mike’s at 850-520-5205 and reserve your entry today.
Also, Mafia Mike’s has something going on 7 nights a week!
*Monday — Open 9 ball event, handicapped, minimum race to 3. $10 entry, plus $3 greens fee.
*Tuesday — 7 pm APA 9 ball.
*Wednesday — Open 8 ball race to 3. 7 pm. $10 entry. $3 greens fee.
*Thursday — 7 pm APA 8 ball.
*Friday — 9 ball open, race to 5 tournament. $10 entry. $3 greens fee. 2nd and 4th Friday, dart tournament. Cricket. Double elimination. $10 entry.
*Saturday — 1st Saturday each month: $30 + $10 greens fee 9 ball, race to 7 tournament winners side; race to five on one loss side. Double elimination.
*Sunday — APA all day play $10 — noon-6pm
Specials On Drinks And Table Time:
*Monday-Friday: 4-7pm ½ price table Time ($3/hr). $1.50 drafts. $2 long necks. $2.50 mixed drinks.
*Wednesday: Happier Hour: 8pm-11pm $2.50 mixed drinks.
Saturday: 11am-7pm ½ price table time ($3 and hour)
Sunday: APA discount day; APA players play 12pm-6pm for $10, on the “all day” special (Must have current APA membership.)
I recently sat down with Bar Manager Rhonda Wright this past Sunday night April 22, 2018. We spoke about how the business is going and how she is looking at taking over ownership. She stressed the desire to keeping the place the way players have come to know it to be — name and all, and looking at making some adjustments and additions as well.
On the idea of taking ownership of Mafia Mike’s, Wright says, “It wasn’t a plan. It’s something my husband and I had talked about when we first met, ‘what’s your dream for retirement?’ that kind of conversation…It was funny, because we both said 10 years ago we’d like to have a bar someday. In our golden years, to have a place to pass on to our kids…so this fell into my lap this past December, when I was made bar manager, and our current owner had decided to let me purchase the business. It’s been a lot of fun. I ha
ve my son working for me. My husband works when he’s in town. He’ll come in and pitch in and works with me, by my side. It’s
becoming a family business.” Did I mention she is keeping the “Mafia Mike’s” name everyone has come to know since it opened last year? LOL!!
As we continue our interview, Rhonda says ,”We’re all about pool. I love having young folks come in, learning the fundamentals and perfecting their game. I enjoy seeing someone’s game get better, no matter what age. It’s a sport where you can improve, regardless of age…if you’re trying to play basketball, baseball or football, at a certain point,your body’s going to say, ‘No more.’ Playing pool, I’ve seen players that are 80 years old playing as good as players 20, 25…” Rhonda also tells me how she likes to see a multigenerational group come out to play some pool.
Additionally, Mafia Mike’s may begin streaming their events, so fans of the game can watch good matches. All around, Wright is doing everything she can to follow her dream, and supporting pool, and the players; Mafia Mike’s is a name players are getting to know that love the game. When you walk into Mike’s, you know they are all about the game. They have clean tables in a spacious and open area. The equipment is always in optimum shape and kept that way. Cues and accessories for sale at reasonable prices — they know how to take care of billiards aficionados at this establishment.
Get in the game, and find yourself a gem of a spot to play at like Mafia Mike’s, and you will find yourself a little piece of pool paradise.
Check out Mafia Mike’s you will be glad you did 🙂
Author: Patrick Sampey
Editor: Chris Freeman
Sponsored by Jacoby Custom Cues