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Video games, long runs and Riesling: How Wall Streeters calmed election nerves

BOSTON (Reuters) - As U.S. election results started trickling in late Tuesday evening, hedge fund manager Eric Jackson stress-ate so much of his kids’ Halloween candy that he felt compelled to buy a blood sugar monitor the next day.

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Jackson, of EMJ Capital, said the treats were a salve for his nerves as he watched MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki buzz around the television screen and stock market futures “melt up all night.”

Over the next few days, Jackson and other fund managers would find ways to deal with anxiety over the election outcome, as well as their investment portfolios, with the presidential race’s daily soap-opera-like developments.

From Tuesday through Friday morning, there were dramatic turns in key states, including Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump made baseless accusations about voter fraud and Republicans filed several lawsuits over ballot counting as Democratic candidate Joe Biden took the lead.

Markets were less volatile than some had feared, but Wall Streeters were nonetheless on tenterhooks about an unexpected outcome.

To relieve the stress, Vassalou Capital Management’s Maria Vassalou went for four-mile runs in Central Park.

Muddy Waters’ Carson Block avoided Twitter after heated conversations put him on edge.

AQR Capital Management’s Cliff Asness played a video game called Doom Eternal on “ultra violence mode,” which he described a “very soothing.”

Quadratic Capital Management’s Nancy Davis found her “zen zone” by watching reality TV shows “Below Deck” and “Southern Charm,” with additional assistance from Riesling, she said. “A little of that, too.”

Mike Novogratz and Mohamed El-Erian posted on Twitter about showering stress away here, spending quality time with a pet here or finding calm in nature here.

David Tawil, president of Maglan Capital, was the rare exception who said he has not changed much about his daily routine.

He does yoga, gets a decent amount of sleep and tries to avoid consuming too much news and social media. Tawil also prays each day, has dinner with family, including an adult beverage to take the edge off.

“I always have one drink with dinner, every night,” he said. “The election has not changed that habit in any way. No more, no less.”

Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Dan Grebler

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