Rickie Lambert struck four minutes from time to send Bristol Rovers into the play-offs and deny Hartlepool the League Two championship.
Hartlepool went ahead after 32 minutes when Willie Boland and Antony Sweeney set up Joel Porter's finish.
Rovers levelled nine minutes into the second half when Richard Walker scored from the spot after Boland fouled the lively Craig Disley in the area.
Lambert gave Rovers the win with a header from Ryan Green's cross.
Hartlepool: Konstantopoulos, Darren Williams, Liddle, Clark, Humphreys, Brown (Mackay 59), Boland, Sweeney, Foley, Eifion Williams (Gibb 79), Porter (Bullock 89).
Subs Not Used: Barron, Tinkler.
Goals: Porter 32.
Bristol Rovers: Phillips, Ryan Green, Anthony, Elliott, Carruthers (Igoe 46), Jacobson, Disley, Campbell, Haldane (Rigg 46), Lambert, Walker (Lines 90).
Subs Not Used: Mike Green, Parrinello.
Booked: Jacobson, Carruthers.
Goals: Walker 54 pen, Lambert 86.
Ref: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).