The veteran striker's effort was added to by a late strike from substitute Paris Cowan-Hall, whose stoppage-time dismissal did not prevent Wanderers securing a deserved win that moved them to within three points of the top seven.
Akinfenwa displayed all his class to put Wycombe ahead, showing great control before playing a one-two with Dayle Southwell and finding the bottom corner.
The hosts' frustration ratcheted up a notch soon after as referee David Webb missed a clear handball against Max Muller in the Wycombe box.
Wanderers continued to look the more dangerous side, Pools goalkeeper Joe Fryer producing fine saves to deny Myles Weston, Southwell and Dominic Gape.
However, he was helpless in the 89th minute when Cowan-Hall coolly slotted into the corner.
The winger's joy proved short-lived as he was shown a second yellow card for an altercation with Scott Harrison, although that did not stop Wycombe extending their unbeaten run to five games.